nishing the capital of Porto Rico with a much-needed water supply. * * *
" It is calculated that within four months San Juan will be able to dispense with the
questionable supply of rain water in cisterns, to which may be attributed a portion
of the sickness developed, which will be replaced by well filtered water drawn from
an uncontaminated source far up in the mountain ravines.
"This has been practically accomplished by damming a mountain stream, at normal
periods some thirty feet in width, by a substantial wall of masonry twenty feet high.
American engineers would pronounce this portion of the work defective, in that
along the low flood-plains to the left of the stream there are no extension retaining-
walls, and hence all flood waters rush around the unprotected end of the dam. The
monetary loss, when the spring waters cut a new stream-bed, as they will, over the
alluvial plain, will be of small moment as compared to the distress which will be
caused by the temporary cutting off of the water-supply from a city whose people
have become educated to the use of water from faucets.
"Beyond this primary objection to the work as it stands, it may be said that the
undertaking has been well and ably executed, under the direction of Spanish
engineers, including, as it does, settling basins, sand niters, pumping basins, steam
lifting pumps, primary receiving reservoirs, and secondary distributing reservoirs.
"It is estimated that this plant is capable of raising and distributing two million
gallons of water in twelve hours, with one set of pumps in action.
"All the great basins have been built by throwing up ;i massive surrounding-wall
of earth, and erecting against this a stone wall four feet in thickness, finished with a
cement lining. The stone used in their construction is a fine-grained blue lime-
stone brought from the mountains within a mile and a half of Rio Piedras. As
a building-stone, it is said to be excellent. It is worked, however, with some
difficulty. * * *
"The water comes from the dam through a twenty-four inch pipe to two settling
basins, which arc used alternately, and it is here held for twenty-four hours, until the
major portion of the foreign matter has precipitated.
DISPOSITION OF GARBAGE.
"Provision is made at the lower end of these basins to flow off the water into the
stream. * * *
"From the settling basins, it is flowed into great duplicate filter basins, which have
a bed covering of four feet of coarse sand; the water passes through these beds of sand
into the final pumping basin.
"In the event of any trouble with the filter beds, it is possible to flow the water, by
side trenches with cemented walls, around the filter basin, directly into the pumping
pits. The pumps are direct-coupled, and the engines are of the condensing type,
manufactured by a Glasgow firm.
"The primary reservoir is situated one hundred and sixty feet above the pumps,
and is a work of beauty. The walls are of rough masonry, topped with a handsome
stone fence. The center of this great basin, holding three million seven hundred
thousand gallons, is divided by a median wall, and the valve-house is situated at one
side of this division.
"A twenty-inch main pipe leads into the city. * * * The total cost of the
completed plant with the water in the mains, it is said, will be somewhat over six
hundred thousand pesos." Dinwiddie, Porto -Rico, p. 185-187 .
"Water for all purposes, including the fire department, is amply supplied by an
aqueduct." Hill, p. 178.
"Ponce has the merit of an admirable water supply." Carroll, p. 210.
"There are waterworks supplying an abundance of good, potable water." Din-
widdie, p. 189.
"The city has excellent waterworks." Hill, p. 179.
"The water for the city is brought from a mountain torrent two miles away in the
foot-hills, and is good and abundant." Dinwiddie, p. 193.
"Its water supply is excellent, requiring only proper filtration to make it acceptable.
The city council has voted a considerable appropriation for the improve-
ment of its waterworks, and a comprehensive system of sewerage is a probability of
the near future. ' ' Carroll, p. 209.
DISPOSITION OF GARBAGE.
The enumerators were instructed to write in the column foj answers
to this question ''Municipal'' (municipal),. "Particular" (private), or
"Se quema" (by burning), according to the method of disposition used
at the dwelling where the question was put. In addition to these three
classes it was necessary to introduce a fourth for unspecified or insuf-
ficiently specified, but less than 1 per cent of the houses fell into
this last class. The facts for Porto Rico as a whole are shown in the
Method of disposing of garbage.
Municipal .. .
REPORT ON THE CENSUS OF PORTO RIC.O, 1899.
Of the total dwellings in Porto Rico about one-eighth were provided
with .some municipal means of disposing of garbage, and the inhabi-
tants of rather more than one-seventh used burning as a method of
disposition. In substantially all the remainder that is, in more than
seven-tenths of the dwellings on the island the inhabitants reported
private means of disposition other than burning.
Among the departments, municipal disposition of garbage was most
common in those at the eastern end of the island, Guayama and
Humacao, and least common in those at the northwest, Aguadilla and
Burning was much more common in Ponce and Humacao than else-
where, the other five departments all falling below the average for
the island in this respect.
Per cent of urban dwellings using specified method of garbage disposal.
In the three cities, as shown above, between half and two-thirds of
the dwellings were provided with some municipal disposition of gar-
bage, and in Ponce and San Juan the residents of about one-fourth of
the dwellings were reported as disposing of their garbage by burning.
DISPOSITION OF EXCRETA.
The entries which the enumerators were allowed to make in the col-
umn containing the answers to this question were "pozo," "inodoro,"
or "ninguna" (none). In addition to the three thus allowed, there
will be found in the tables. a fourth class of "not specified," to cover
cases where the question was not answered. The only recognized
methods of disposal, therefore, were pozo and inodoro. As it is diffi-
cult to find any exact English equivalent for these words, they will be
retained in the following discussion of the tables. 1 In Table XXXIV
pozo has been translated as cesspool and inodoro as sewer, but these
English words are not exact equivalents of the Spanish terms they
1 The inodoro includes every receptacle for excreta in which an effort is made to
destroy or decrease the foul odors arising therefrom, usually by the addition of such
sul istances as lime, dry clay, or ashes. The pozo includes all other forms of closet.
The modern form of closet flushed by water from a system of pipes, called exausado
inylw, is very unusual in Porto Rico. Either the Inodoro or the pozo is cleaned, when
it is cleaned at all, by scavengers hired by the property owner.
DISPOSITION OF EXCKETA.
The following table shows the frequency of these various modes of
Mode of disposing of excreta.
using it in
More than three-fourths of the dwellings in Porto Rico have no pro-
vision of any kind for this purpose. It is said that in rural Spain the
inhabitants commonly have no closets or outhouses, but resort to the
fields, and the same is apparently true of Porto Rico. Of the houses
having conveniences of this sort, over nineteen-twentieths (96.7 per
cent) reported &pozo and less than one-twentieth (3.3 per cent) an ino-
doro. In this respect the departments stand as follows:
Per cent of total dwellings supplied with specified mode of disposal of excreta.
It is clear that except in the three departments containing large
cities the Inodoro is practically unknown. In the following table the
facts are given for the three cities separately reported:
Per cent of urban dwellings using specified method of disposing of excreta.
San Juan .
This table shows that in San Juan an inodoro was found in a little
more than one-tenth of the dwellings, but that in the other two cities
it occurred in only about one dwelling in twenty. In the three cities
one house in six, on an average, was without closet conveniences.
In the following table the facts are given for the rural districts of
REPORT OK THE CENSUS OF PORTO RICO, 1899.
the three departments containing these cities, i. e., for the three
departments outside of these cities:
Per cent of rural dwellings using specified method of disposing of excreta.
Rural districts of
In these rural districts there was a pozo in connection with less than
one-fifth of the dwellings, while nearly four-fifths were without this or
any other form of receiving excreta.
VITAL STATISTICS, 1888-1898, INCLUSIVE.
[See Tables XXXV-XXXVIL]
In connection with the present census a careful and accurate report
was received at the office of the Director, giving the number of births,
deaths, and marriages registered in each municipal district of Porto
Rico for each calendar year from 1888 to 1898, inclusive, and, in the
case of births and deaths, with distinction of sex. In the report the
districts are arranged alphabetically, but for purposes of analysis they
have been assembled by departments. In this form the figures are
included in the present volume, and those for the several departments
are here introduced from pages 3^5-351:
Deaths in Porto Rico', 1888-1898, by departments.
Arecibo . . .
Porto Rico .
Births in Porto Rico, 1888-1898, by departments.
Arecibo . . .
Mu linn -an .
Ponce . .
:t. 7 TJ
Porto Rico .
19, 719 272, 454
Marriages in Porto Rico, 1888-1898, by departments.
Arecibo . . .
Porto Rico .
The first question which arises regarding such tables as the pre-
ceding is, How accurate and complete are the figures? The table
received by the Director of the Census was entirely free from arith-
metical errors, and in the course of analysis only one slight defect a
transposition of two numbers was detected. But this does not vouch
for the completeness of the original records, of which this table is a
summary. In default of opportunity to examine the law and admin-
istration of Porto Rico in such matters, one is compelled, in determin T
ing the probabilities of the case, to rely upon internal evidence. For
this purpose one must compare the proportion between the recorded
births and deaths and the population, and ascertain whether these pro-
portions, the so-called death rates and birth rates, agree with the
known probabilities under such conditions as prevail in Porto Rico.
In order to estimate the population, it has been assumed that the inhab-
itants increased by an equal number each year between 1887 and 1899
an assumption sufficiently accurate for the purpose in hand.
DEATHS AND DEATH RATES.
The total population of Porto Rico for each year, and the deaths and
death rates, or average number of persons dying to each thousand of
the estimated population, were as given in the following table:
Death rates, 1888-1898.
( XU (W3
Average for 11 years
If these figures may be trusted, it appears that about 3 per cent of
the population of Porto Rico die each year. If the population of
Porto Rico were what is known as stationary that is, neither increas-
ing nor decreasing year by year in total numbers, and experiencing no
8490- -00 8
KEPOKT ON THE CENSUS OF PORTO EICO, 1899.
loss or gain from emigration or immigration and 3 per cent died each
year, it is clear that a number equal to the total population of the
island would have died at the end of thirty -three and one-third years.
This does not imply that every person on the island would die on
reaching that age, but does inipty that the persons dj'ing below the
age of 33i years would be equal in number to those dying above that
age, and, consequently, that a child born in Porto Rico would have an
even chance of reaching 33 years before its death. This is what is
sometimes called by statisticians the expectation of life. In such a
stationary population, also, there would be as many persons below as
above 33i years that is, the median age of the population would be
33^ years. Now, it has already appeared from the analysis of the age
figures of Porto Rico (page 47) that the median age is not 33i, but
18.1 years. A part of this difference is due to the fact that the popu-
lation of Porto Rico is increasing rather than stationary. But this
increase is far from sufficient to account for the difference between the
observed median age of the population and the median age estimated
on the assumption of a stationary population and a death rate of 30
per annum. The only obvious way of escaping the difficulty is to
assume that the true death rate in Porto Rico must be somewhat higher
than the death rate of 30 obtained from the analysis of the figures,
and that many deaths have occurred on the island which have not been
entered in the registers or reported to this office.
Another line of argument may be offered tending to the same result.
Porto Rico has been gaining but little by immigration, and nearly all
of its increase has been by excess of births over deaths. This increase,
however, for the last few decades, has been but little more than 1.5
per cent per annum. If one can ascertain approximately the births
in Porto Rico each year and their ratio to population, one may ascer-
tain indirectly the. probable number of deaths. Now, two censuses,
those of 1860 and 1899, have reported the number of children under
1 year of age in Porto Rico. They are the survivors of the children
born within the preceding twelve months. In the following table these
two are compared with the total population reported by the census:
Per cent of population under 1 year of age.
year of age.
These figures indicate a birth rate for Porto Rico of at least 27 per
thousand population, but two considerations warrant the belief that the
true birth rate must be much higher than this. In the first place, no
account has been taken of the number of children who were born and
VITAL STATISTICS. 115
then died in Porto Rico in the year preceding the census day. From
all that is known of the conditions on the island, one may assume that
this proportion was very high. Where ignorance, poverty, and unsani-
tary conditions prevail, it is not at all uncommon for one-fourth
of all the children born to die during their first year of life. If one
assumes that this is true in Porto Rico, the true birth rate would be 35
or 36 instead of 30. That this is not an exaggerated estimate of the true
birth rate is perhaps indicated by the fact that Spain, for the years
1865-1869, reported an average birthrate of 36.7, for the years 1878-
1880 an average birth rate of 35.7, and for the years 1887-1888 an
average rate of 36.3. All that one knows of Porto Rican conditions
indicates that the birth rate on that island must be decidedly higher
than it is in Spain.
A second cause for thinking the birth rate in Porto Rico to be much
higher than 27 is found in the general tendency of parents, in report-
ing the ages of young children, to overstate them. For this reason the
number of children under 1 becomes erroneously small by the transfer
of many infants really belonging in that class into the class of children
1 or even 2 yours old. From Table IX it will be noticed that the chil-
dren in Porto Rico 2, 3, and 4 years old, November 10, 1899, were much
more numerous than those under 1. Such a relation, if it existed,
could be due only to an abnormally low birth rate for the preceding
yoar or a very high infant mortality affecting mainly the children
under 1. Neither of these assumptions seems so probable as that a
considerable number of Porto Rican children belonging to the first
year of life have been transferred, as often happens, to the later age
periods. When one considers that Saxony, Russia in Europe, and
Roumania have a birth rate of between 40 and 50 per annum, it seems
probable that the true birth rate of Porto Rico must be as high as 40
per annum, and that the true death rate is nearer 40 than 30, while
both birth rate and death rate may not improbably rise above 40. On
the whole, therefore, it is not probable that the births and deaths
recorded in the preceding tables included all or nearly all of those
which occurred in Porto Rico. Still, inferences may perhaps be derived
from the figures, notwithstanding the admission that they are imperfect
From the table showing deaths and death rates in Porto Rico year by
year it appears that these have varied quite widely from a minimum
rate of 24.6 to a maximum of 35.7. The rates at the beginning and
end of the period of eleven years were much higher than for several
years in the middle of the series. The variations, however, have not
been sharp, being in nowise comparable with those shown in Cuba for
the same period.
REPOET ON THE CENSUS OF PORTO RICO, 1899.
In the following table the death rates are given by departments for
Death rates in Porto Rico, 1888-1898, by departments.
1888 . .
These departments do not vary widely from the average for the
island, nor does it appear that any one or more of the departments
suffered severely while the remainder were unaffected. In one case,
in the year 1897, it would seem that the eastern end of the island,
Humacao, Guayama, and Bayamon suffered and the death rate rose,
while in the other four departments this did not occur. In 1893 nearly
all the departments seem to have had a comparatively low death rate,
while in 1890 the death rate in two of the western departments, Maya-
guez and Arecibo, was unusually high. One is somewhat surprised
to find the average rate for Mayaguez running higher than in the other
departments, and the suspicion arises that this may be due to more
accurate records rather than to a rate really above the average.
BIRTHS AND BIRTH' RATES.
The following table gives the birth rates for Porto Rico as a whole,
by single years:
Birth rates in Porto Rico, 1888-1898.
1897 . . . . ..
( )n<- notices that, on the average, the registered number of births to
!i thousand prisons is loss than the registered number of deaths to a
thousand persons. As Porto Rico has been gaining but little by immi-
gration in recent years, this apparent inference from the tables must