The gradual decrease in the rate at which our center of population is traveling west gives a good idea of the approaching saturation of the country as a whole. According to the Census Bureau, the movement in the ten years ending in 1900, was only fourteen miles westward and two and a half southward - the smallest movement in our history as a nation. For the first time has the South increased at a greater rate than the North, and this is due, of course, to its manufactures. Indeed, most of our Southern States have been supersaturated for a long time, for they have been importing foods in exchange for cotton and tobacco. Iron now enables them to import still more. If Southern statesmen had known a little about the supersaturation of their country, and the impossibility of feeding a huge army, the Civil War would have been prevented.*

States

Density per mile

No. of cities over 4.000

Per cent. Urban

Per cent, increase of population from 1890 to 1900. average 20.9

Oklahoms.....

...

2

5.3

544.2

Indian Territory...................

....

2

2.5

117.5

Arizona...........................

1.1

2

10.7

104.9

Alaska............................

0.1

....

.....

97.9

Idaho.............................

1.9

2

6.2

91.7

Montana..........................

1.7

5

29.6

84.1

North Dakota.....................

4.5

2

5.4

74.7

Wyoming.........................

0.9

3

28.8

52.4

Washington....

7.7

8

36.4

48.3

Texas.............................

11.6

36

15.0

36.4

Florida....

9.7

6

16.6

35.0

Minnesota....

22 1

19

30.9

34.5

Utah.............................

3.4

4

29.5

33.1

Oregon............................

4.4

5

27.6

31.8

Colorado..........................

5.2

8

41.2

30.9

New Jersey........................

250.3

49

67.6

30.4

New Mexico.......................

....

2

6.1

27.2

Illinois............................

86.1

66

51.0

26.0

West Virginia......................

38.9

11

11.6

25.7

Massachusetts.....................

349.0

56

7(3.1

25.2

Rhode Island......................

407.0

10

86.2

24.0

Louisiana.........................

30.4

9

25.1

23.5

California......

9.5

24

48.9

22.9

Wisconsin.........................

38.0

37

34.5

22.7

South Dakota......................

5.2

5

7.1

22.1

Connecticut.......................

187.5

31

68.5

21.7

New York.........................

152.6

83

71.3

21.2

Alabama..........................

35.5

16

9.9

20.8

District Columbia....

....

1

100.0

20.9

Georgia...........................

37.6

19

14.3

20.6

Mississippi.........................

33.5

10

5.3

20.2

Pennsylvania......................

140.1

119

51.1

19.9

North Carolina.....................

39.0

16

11.7

17.1

Iowa.............................

40.2

33

20.5

16.7

South Carolina.....

44.4

17

8.0

16.4

Arkansas..........................

24.7

8

6.9

16.25

Missouri...........................

45.2

35

34.9

16.0

Michiban....

42.2

55

37.2

15.6

Kentucky.........................

53.7

20

19.6

15.5

Indiana...........................

70.1

52

30.7

14.8

Tennessee.........................

48.4

9

14.1

14.3

Maryland.........................

120.5

8

48.2

14.2

Ohio..............................

102.0

83

45.9

13.2

* "Prior to the Civil War the Northern States nearly doubled in population with each twenty years, while in the Southern States the increase of population was only about two-thirds as great. Since 1860 the rate of growth in both parts of the country has been much less, but while the rate of growth in the North has decreased steadily, that in the South during the twenty years, from 1860 to 1880, has been slightly less".

States

Density per mile

No. of cities over 4,000

Per cent. Urban

Per cent, increase of population from 1890 to 1900, average 20.9

Virginia....

46.2

16

16.5

12.0

Delaware..........................

94.3

1

41.6

9.6

New Hampshire....................

45.7

11

41.8

9.3

Maine.............................

23,2

21

33.4

5.0

Vermont..........................

37.6

9

20.0

3.3

Kansas...........................

18.0

25

9.2

3.0

Nebraska (overestimated in 1890). .. .

11

7.1

0.9

Nevada...........................

0.4

1

10.7

*7.5

* Decrease.

This table shows that the less an area is saturated, the greater is the increase. The old manufacturing States have, of course, increased out of proportion to the old agricultural States, like Kansas and Nebraska, and are now supersaturated, importing food. Nevada is a case of supersaturation followed by a decrease from loss of mines. The natural increase of the population of the Eastern States has drifted West for over a century. The exodus from New England has been enormous. The arid regions having so few people per mile, of course increase as rapidly as irrigation and other means increase the amount of cultivated land.

Specialization Of Farms

It is often asked why a place will import food when it can raise it. This is only a question of money-making. If a farm can net $10,000 raising tobacco, the owner would be foolish to turn it into a potato farm and net only $500 a year. Thus the Philippines, at present, are supersaturated because they can 1 letter afford to import rice and other foods, paying for them with hemp, tobacco, etc., than they could afford to raise only food. They make more money by the present system and support more people. It is a parallel case to Cuba. The reverse side is not so pleasant, for interfere just a little with the industries so that food cannot be bought and there must be famine, such as has repeatedly threatened several provinces in the Philippines, and quite recently, too.

Hence, it is evident that every part of the world which can produce something needed by the rest of the world, is destined to be supersaturated, and import food. Some parts will always be food producers, and will sell abroad even though there be many starving at home. The manufacturing nations will be those which can sell the cheapest to the world, and these will be able to buy the foods. The industrial victory, of course, will go to the races with the most brains.