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The population of the United States: historical trends and future projections.

The Population of the United States: Historical Trends and Future Projections.

A mix of encyclopedia and commentary

This is a well written but expensive reference book on the population of the United States. Donald J. Bogue provides historical perspective, covering the U.S. population over the past two centuries, but he concentrates his analyses on the past two decades, with particular emphasis on the early 1980's. He also discusses future populations trends.

The book is divided into five sections: (1) an overview of the U.S. population; (2) dynamics of population change, such as marital status and migration; (3) social characteristics, for example, ethnicity and educational attainment; (4) economic characteristics, for example, labor force participation, income, occupation, and industry; and (5) special topics, specifically, chapters on poverty, housing, religion, politics, and the population of Puerto Rico. Each chapter of the volume includes a bibliography, and, where appropriate, definitions of terms and technical appendices.

Bogue notes in his preface that work of this type "should select the mose cogent information from all available sources, summarize it in easy-to-use statistical tables, and provide a comprehensive exposition of the fundamental details." Overall, Bogue's volume does that. However, there are some inaccuracies in the book. Following are a few examples:

In the chapter on internal and international migration, Bogue states, "World War II caused many millions of people to be 'transferred' from one nation to another. For example, millions of Jews fled from Germany before the war..." (p. 356). In fact, there were 550,000 Jews in Germany in the years prior to World War II. (About one-third were later killed by the Nazis.)

There are some discrepancies between the text and the tabulations. For example, the figures do not show that the proportion of families in Puerto Rico headed by a female householder with no husband present is nearly identical to that of the U.S. white population (p. 699); that the labor force participation rates of Cuban men and women in the United States are about average for all men and women (P. 493); or that marrie women with no children have slightly higher labor force participation rates than mothers with children under age 6 (p. 499). (Actually, some of these statements reflect the situation in earlier years.)

It is disappointing that this beautifully produced volume is marred by such inaccuracies.
COPYRIGHT 1986 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Sehgal, Ellen
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Feb 1, 1986
Words:389
Previous Article:Partners in prosperity.
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