The earliest savings banks were founded in Philadelphia in 1816, in Boston in 1816, in Baltimore in 1818, and in New York in 1819. These were of the mutual type.

The growth of mutual and joint-stock savings banks is indicated by the figures4 in the table on page 438 for the census years.

The most rapid growth appears in the decade 1900-1910. Between 1910 and 1919 the deposits of the savers increased from country and that our per capita savings are second only to those of Germany.

4 Taken from the Report of the Comptroller of the Currency, 1919, Volume I, pp.167-168.

Table Showing Growth Of Mutual And Joint-Stock Savings Banks

Year

Number of Banks

Number of

Depositors

(In millions)

Deposits (In millions)

Average Due

Each

Depositor

Average per Person in the United States

1820

10

8

$ 1

$131.86

$ .12

1830

36

38

6

183.09

.54

1840

61

78

14

178.54

.82

1850

108

251

43

172.78

1.87

1860

278

693

149

215.13

4.75

1870

517

1,630

549

337.17

14.26

1880

629

2,335

819

350.17

16.33

1890

921

4,258

1,524

358.03

24.35

1900

1,002

6,107

2,449

401.10

31.78

1910

1,759

9,142

4,070

445.20

45.05

1915

2,159

11,285

4,997

442.83

49.91

1916

1,864

11,148 11,366

5,087

456.31 476.60

1917

1,807

5,417

1918

1,819

11,379

5,471

480.79

1919

1,719

11,434

5.902

516.18

$4,070 million to $5,902 million, or 45 per cent. During this decade, however, the price level and cost of living increased 108 per cent (Bradstreet), and therefore the savers have suffered despite their thrift, since their savings, including the increases by interest and additional deposits, have decreased in purchasing power.

A comparative statement based on the Report of the Comptroller of the Currency, 1919, Volume I, pp. 209-210, of the use made of savings banks in various leading countries is given in the table on page 439.

From this it appears that the use of the postal savings banks in the United States is very meager compared, absolutely and relatively, with the use in other leading countries, and that we rank low in the relative proportion of our people who have savings bank deposits of any kind. On the other hand, it appears that our individual accounts (probably reflecting the difference in standards of living) are very much larger than in any other

Comparative Statement Of Use Made Of Savings Banks In The Leading Countries

Country

Savings Bank

Number of

Depositors

(In millions)

Deposits (In millions )

Average Deposit Account

Average

Deposit per Person

France.........

Private

85

$ 3

$ 34.92

$ .90

Postal

1,922

591

74.64

14.93

Germany............

Public and corporate

27,205

5,105

187.68

76.53

Italy...........

Communal and corporate

2,473

491

198.71

13.45

Postal

6,472

431

66.73

11.82

Japan..........

Private

9,705

99

10.29

1.79

Postal

13,893

154

11.14

2.78

United Kingdom.

Trustee

2,015

261

129.84

5.99

Postal

14,746

957

64.90

21.92

United States . ..

Postal

565

167

295.88

1.57

Mutual and joint-stock

1,434

5,902

516.19

55.30

The distribution of the mutual savings banks shows a high concentration in the North and East. The figures in the table on page 440 show the situation on June 30, 1919.

The statistics of the joint-stock savings banks are less useful for the reasons that in many states they are included with the state banks, and in others (New Jersey and Minnesota) with the mutual banks. Of the 1,097 joint-stock savings banks reported by the Comptroller, 926 were in Iowa.