The census of 1900 reported the teaching population of the United States as 438,361. This was .0058 of the total population, or a trifle over one half of one per cent. Teachers were first enumerated separately in 1850 and they then made only .0013 of the total. Since then the proportion has increased at every census. In 1870 it was almost exactly one third of one per cent. These figures are a measure of the . growing importance of education, and a truer measure than sums of money spent: the proportion of the population set apart for teaching increased over fourfold in fifty years. The proportion of female teachers is increasing. In 1880 they were a little over two thirds of the total number of teachers; in 1900 they were nearly three fourths. In fact, the increase in the proportion of the total population devoted to teaching has gone wholly to the females. Of all the males engaged in gainful occupations, the proportion engaged in teaching has remained about constant.

It is interesting to see how the nationalities vary in the extent to which they are engaged in the teaching profession. As would be expected, the native whites of native parentage are in the teaching profession beyond the proportion of their number, and the foreign born to only a slight extent. Some of the native born of foreign parents also rank very low, while others rise in proportion nearly to that of the native stock. Taking the total number of each nationality, native born but of foreign parentage, who are engaged in gainful occupations, and then finding the per cent of each engaged in teaching, we get the following results for female teachers:

Per Cent

Native parents . . . .. .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

10.8

Canadian English . . . .. .. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

9.0

English and welsh . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

8.4

Scotch . . . .. .. . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .

9.3

French . . . .. .. . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .

7.3

Norwegian . . . .. .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6.1

Irish . . . .. .. . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5.6

For some of the other nationalities the proportion falls below one per cent, which means that they cannot become sufficiently Americanized in one generation to make acceptable teachers.

A comparison of the age-distribution of teachers shows that they are younger than the persons engaged in most other callings. They are not as young as stenographers, or domestic servants, or farm laborers; but they are younger than farmers, physicians, lawyers, or bankers.

Age-Distribution, By Per Cents, Of Teachers, Stenographers, Lawyers, And Bankers

Age Periods

Teachers

Total

Stenographers

Lawyers

Bankers

Male

Female

Total

Total

Male

10-15

.1

.1

1.3

16-24

30.4

46.2

42.1

61.9

6.8

3.2

25-34

38.2

34.8

35.7

29.8

29.1

12.3

35-44

16.3

11.7

13.1

5.4

25.2

17.4

45-54

8.2

4.6

5.5

1.0

18.8

18.1

55-64

4.1

1.8

2.3

.3

12.5

19.7

Over 65

2.0

.5

.9

.1

7.3

29.0

Unknown

.3

.3

.3

.2

.3

.3

- Compiled from Twelfth Census, Occupations, pp. 7, 16, 17.

. . . Men now teaching began teaching all the way from fifteen to thirty-eight years of age. Although the eighteenth year is the one about which the cases cluster, the median beginning age is 19.88 years. This means that there are just as many men who began teaching at 19.87 years of age or less as there are who began teaching at 19.89 years of age or more. Fifty per cent of all the men begin teaching between the ages of 17.96 years and 21.80 years.

. . . The median beginning age for women is 19.38 years, exactly one-half year younger than it is for men. As many women begin teaching at 19.37 years of age or less as begin at 19.39 years of age or more. Fifty per cent of all the women begin between the ages of 18.22 years and 20.54 years.

In this connection it is interesting to note that the median age of normal school students - the population preparing to teach - is 19, and that 85 per cent are between 17 and 21. . . .

The median age of men teachers is 29.05 and the quartile is 7.40. This means that 50 per cent of the men teachers are between 21.65 and 36.45 years old. . . .

The median age of the women is 24.1 years, and the variability is 4.21 years. . . .

... In round numbers one-half of the men and two-thirds of the women are under 30 years of age. Every third man and every second woman is under 25 years of age. Considering teachers in general 56 per cent are 25 years of age or under.

Median Age

Men

Women

Rural schools . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . .

22.84

21.42

Town schools . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . .

32.68

25.76

City schools . . . .. .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .

34.6o

27.45

- Coffman, Social Composition of the Teaching Population, pp. 16-18, 22, 23, 25.