It is safe to take into consideration our losses as well as our gains. The thirteenth census tells of a decade of growth in the United States. In 1900 the population was less than seventy-six millions; in 1910 it is nearly ninety-two millions, an increase of about sixteen millions. In the list of 225 cities having over 25,000 inhabitants, all but three show an increase of population, and among the 1172 smaller cities having over 2500 inhabitants, the story is much the same. Among the forty-eight states there is only one, Iowa, which does not rejoice in an increase.
But some communities have not grown. In Massachusetts, with 25 large cities and 172 smaller ones and with an increase amounting to 20 per cent, there is Barnstable County that has been steadily declining for half a century, having had a population in 1860 of about 36,000, while now it has but 27,000. In Maine, there has been a good increase, especially in some of the cities; but Waldo County on the Penobscot once had a population of over 47,000, while now it numbers less than half of that; and Lincoln County, which had a population in 1860 of nearly 28,000, now has but little over 18,000.
The most surprising lapses, however, are in the great states of the Mississippi Valley whose prosperity has been almost proverbial. In Missouri, with such growing centres as St. Louis and Kansas City, which together show an increase of 196,000, we find 71 counties out of 100 in which the population has declined, with an aggregate loss of 132,000; and with an increase in urban territory of 255,000 there has been a decrease in the rural parts of 68,000. Iowa has 71 counties out of 99 which have lost an aggregate of 18,000; yet most of her 77 cities have gained, and the increase in urban territory is about 113,000 while the decrease in the rural parts is 120,000. Indiana has 57 counties out of 92 which have lost; her urban territory has gained 267,000, but there has been a falling off in the rural parts of 83,000. Illinois has 50 counties out of her 97 which show a loss; in her urban territory the increase has been a falling off in the rural parts of 83,000. Illinois has 50 counties out of her 97 which show a loss; in her urban territory the increase has reached the enormous number of 810,000, but the gain in the rural territory has been only 6,455. Wisconsin, adjacent to Illinois and Iowa, makes a little better showing, yet 21 counties have lost in this state over against 50 which have made a gain; the population in her urban territory has grown 193,000, while that in the rural has increased by 71,594.