ID# 1121:
"Biological aspects of immigration," Harry H. Laughlin testimony before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization
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The Harry H. Laughlin Papers, Truman State University, papers, C-2-6,6
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&quote;Biological aspects of immigration,&quote; Harry H. Laughlin testimony before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization

18 Biological Aspects of Immigration. 16,006 under State control, in 1900, 23,778; an increase of 48.5 per cent. 1910, 32,658, or 37 per cent more than in 1900. In February, 1912, there were 31,432 patients in 14 State hospitals (41.9 per cent of whom were of foreign birth). Careful studies have shown that the frequency of insanity in our foreign population is 2.9 times greater than in those of native birth. During the year ending September 31, 1911, the State disbursed approximately $11,378.00 for the care of the insane. The tremendous increase in our insane population is largely due to admission of defectives from other countries (p. 9). Taking the country as a whole the foreign born, which in 1900 formed only 19.5 per cent of the total population of 10 years of age, contributed 34.3 per cent to the total insane population (p. 12). Table 2, page 14, show the relative proportion of the different countries contributing to the foreign population in hospitals for the insane. Comparative statement of the nativity of the foreign-born insane in New York State. [tabular material follows] &Total insane in institutions, Dec. 31, 1903.&Insane to civil hospitals, Feb. 10, 1912.&Insane in hospitals for criminal insane, Feb. 20, 1912. Country of birth.&Number.&Per cent of foreign population.& Number.& Per cent of foreign population.&Number.&Per cent of foreign population. Austria& & &[illegible]&4.5&29&5.3 Canada&454&3.8&486&3.7&22&4.0 England and Wales&721&6.1&731&5.6&30&5.3 France&161&1.4&136&1.0&1&.2 Germany&3,044&23.7&3,179&21.2&93&17.0 Hungary and Bohemia&271&2.3&457&3.5&14&2.6 Ireland&4,277&40.3&4,270&32.0&111&20.3 Italy&433&3.6&655&5.0&126&23.1 Russia and Poland&809&6.8&1,513&11.5&69&12.6 Scandinavia&387&3.3&412&3.4&10&1.8 Scotland&158&1.3&163&1.2&1&.2 All other countries&643&5.4&537&4.1&40&7.3 Total&11,830&100.0&13,163&100.0&595&100.0 This table shows that of the foreign-born insane in civil hospitals 32 per cent are Irish, whereas of the foreign born in hospitals for the criminal insane only 25 per cent are Irish. On the other hand the proportion for the Italians is 5 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively, and for the Poles and Russians 11.5 per cent and 12.6 per cent. Austrians 4.5 per cent and 5.3 per cent, respectively. This shows that the Italians, Russians, Austrians (largely Jews) constitute a large proportion of the insane. The conclusions to which Drs. May and Pollock have come are: That the number of foreign-born insane in the State hospitals is steadily increasing. That the foreign-born population of the State contributes a relatively much larger number of patients to the State hospitals than the native born. That although the rate of insanity among the Italians is low, this nationality contributes an unusually large proportion of patients to the State hospitals for the criminal insane. That the average total hospital residence of the foreign-born insane patients is 9.85 years. That the first admissions of 1911 show a rate of insanity 2.2 times as great among the foreign-born population of the State as among the native born. That the rate of insanity among the foreign born of New York City is 2.5 times that of the native born. That about one-fifth of the foreign born first admissions of 1911 entered hospitals before having been in the States for five years. That the larger part of the immigrants who are admitted to the State hospitals within five years after entering come from Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Russia, and the largest percentages of foreign-born illiterates are found among the same nationalities.

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