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County Totals.—Under the law of 1905 requiring County Recorders as local registrars to transmit to the State Registrar the original marriage certificates filed with them each month, 17,932 marriages were registered in the California State Bureau of Vital Statistics for 19051906. The total for the last half of 1905 was 8,338, against 9,594 for the first half of 1906.
Table 1, below, shows the counties for which at least 100 marriages were reported to the State Bureau of Vital Statistics in 1905–1906:
TABLE 1.- Rank of Counties with at Least 100 Marriages: 1905-1906.
Despite the destruction of certificates for more than one half of April, 1906, and incomplete registration in the confusion following the
great fire, San Francisco with 4,230 marriages properly registered contributes 23.6 per cent of the State total. The returns for Los Angeles cover little over half a year, the first certificates received having been for December, 1905. Complete returns for the whole twelve months would have made the total for Los Angeles county nearer that for San Francisco. In Alameda county, as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles, over 2,000 marriages were registered in 1905–1906.
With regard to the number of marriages registered, the counties fall into several groups. First, there is a group of 3 counties, each with over 2,000 marriages in the year; next comes another group of 3 counties, each with between 600 and 1,000 marriages in the year; then a group of 5, each with from 400 to 500 marriages; then a group of 6, with from 200 to 300 marriages; and then a group of 15 with from 100 to 200 marriages.
In addition to the 32 counties ranked in Table 1, there were 9 with from 50 to 100 marriages in the year, viz.: Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Merced, San Benito, Tehama, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba; 10 with from 25 to 50 marriages, viz.: Colusa, Glenn, Inyo, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Modoc, Placer, Plumas, and Sutter; and 6 with less than 25 marriages each, viz.: Alpine, Del Norte, Mariposa, Mono, Sierra, and Trinity
Marriage-rates. For the purpose of calculating marriage-rates, the population of California in 1905 has been estimated conservatively according to the Census Bureau method by adding to the population in 1900 five tenths of the increase between 1890 and 1900, except that for the few counties showing decreases between the last two Federal censuses the population in 1900 has been taken for 1905, and for the three principal cities arbitrary estimates have been made because of their exceptionally rapid growth. The estimate for San Francisco in 1905 is 450,000, for Los Angeles, 180,000, and for Oakland, 90,000. As a bulk of the marriage returns for 1905–1906 were not affected by the public calamity in April, 1906, no estimates have been changed on account of temporary readjustments of population caused by the San Francisco fire. For convenience in tabulation, the fifty-seven counties of California have been grouped in three main and eight minor geographic divisions, which appear in Table 2, the counties in each group being arranged alphabetically for the sake of ready reference. Marriage-rates are also shown for the metropolitan area, comprising San Francisco and the other bay counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and San Mateo) in contrast with the rural counties of Northern and Central California.
TABLE 2.- Estimated Population (1905), Marriages, and Marriage-rate per 1,000 Population, for Counties arranged Geographically: 1905–1906.
per 1,000 Population.
9.4 14.9 13.4
450,000 216,127 165,700 20,312 17,017 13,098 132,371 19,752
235 1,544 153
66 179 921 225
36.4 17.9 11.7 7.7 9.8 10.6 13.9 9.9
TABLE 2.- Estimated Population (1905), Marriages, and Marriage-rate per 1,000 Population
for Counties arranged Geographically: 1905–1906—Continued.
9.8 2.0 4.9 4.1 6.2 11.4 6.3 7.1 9.3
Los Angeles -
2.1 7.7 2.2 17.0 11.7
6.1 10.9 11.2 7.2 6.7
* The 2,241 marriages for Los Angeles County include only 191 for 1905, against 2,050 for 1906, so that the registration is short by 1,800 or more. Corrected for this omission, the rate would be 11.1 for the State, 14.7 for Southern California, and 15,6 for Los Angeles.
It appears from Table 2 that for an estimated State population of 1,784,521 in 1905, the 17,932 marriages registered in 1905–1906 give a marriage-rate of 10.0 per 1,000 population, though complete returns for Los Angeles county would make the State rate 11.1 instead. The marriage-rate is higher for Southern California than for Northern and Central California together. In Northern as well as Central California the rate is higher for the coast counties than for the interior counties. The rate is also considerably higher for the metropolitan area, comprising San Francisco and the other bay counties, than for the rural counties north of Tehachapi.
Among the individual counties, Marin shows the highest marriage-rate, 36.4 per 1,000 population, followed by Orange 18.5, San Mateo 17.9, and Sacramento 17.0. The corrected rate for Los Angeles county, 15.6, would place it next in rank, followed by San Bernardino 14.4, Santa Clara 13.9, Alameda 13.4, Riverside, 13.2, San Diego 12.1, San Joaquin 11.7, Fresno, 11.4, Tulare 11.2, Santa Barbara 11.0, Stanislaus, 10.9,
and San Luis Obispo 10.6, these being the counties with marriage-rates above the State average.
The fact that the marriage-rate is higher f r the metropolitan are 8 than for the rural counties of Northern and entral California and that the corrected rate for Los Angeles is above t' at for the rest of Southern California, indicates that marriages usually take place at urban centers. Moreover, the counties named as having marriage-rates above the State average will be readily recognized as counties having large cities. As a rule, too, in each geographic division the counties with rates above the average for the group are counties with important cities or towns. It seems, therefore, that there is a decided tendency for those about to marry to slip away from their homes in rural counties to be married at an important city in some other county.
At the same time there is a counter movement by which couples residing in great cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles go to a suburban county when they wish to be married. This counter movement is shown by the fact that at San Francisco bay the marriagerates are much higher for Marin, San Mateo, and Alameda counties than for the metropolis itself, and in Southern California the marriage rate for Orange county is considerably higher even than the corrected rate for Los Angeles.
Number in Order.- Table 3, below, gives the number in order of marriages, with per cents, for the three main and eight minor geographic divisions, including certain other groups of counties. TABLE 3.–Marriages classified by Number in Order, with Per Cent Distribution, for
Geographic Divisions: 1905-1906.
Of the 17,932 marriages registered in 1905-1906, 13,182 or 73.5 per cent were first marriages for both parties, neither groom nor bride having ever been married before. The per cent of marriages with both parties single is highest for the coast counties of Northern California, 76.8, the interior counties of Central California, 76.2, and for San Fran
cisco, 76.0. It is lowest, 69.3, for Southern California outside Los Angeles, and next lowest, 69.4, for the bay counties other than San Francisco. The per cent of marriages where neither party was married before is higher for Northern and Central California than for Southern California and north of Tehachapi is higher for the rural counties than for the metropolitan area.
In 1,958 cases, or 10.9 per cent of all, the marriage was the first of the groom only, and in 1,450 cases, or 8.1 per cent, it was the first of the bride only. As a rule, the number of single men marrying widowed or divorced women is greater than the number of single women marrying widowed or divorced men. No geographical division shows a variation from this rule, and exceptions to the rule appear for only nine counties, Plumas, Siskiyou, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, Kings, Riverside, and Santa Barbara.
In no more than 1,342 instances, or 7.5 per cent of the total number, was the marriage the second or over of both the groom and the bride, each party having been married once or more before. The per cent of marriages where both parties had been previously married is highest, 9.6, for the six counties of Southern California other than Los Angeles, followed by 9.0 for the bay counties other than San Francisco and by 8.5 for Los Angeles. The per cent of_marriages where neither party was single is lowest of all, 5.8, for San Francisco, next, 6.1, for the coast counties of Northern California, and next, 6.7, for the interior counties of Central California. The per cent of such marriages is somewhat higher for the metropolitan area than for the rural counties of Northern and Central California, being 7.2 for the former, against 6.8 for the latter.
Status of Parties.- Table 4 shows for each geographic division the civil status or marital condition of both grooms and brides—whether single, widowed, or divorced-at the time of marriage. TABLE 4.-Grooms and Brides classified by Marital Condition, with Per Cent Distributions,
for Geographic Divisions: 1905-1906.
Single. Widow'd Divorced. Single. Widow'd. Divorced.
830 327 615 542
988 409 754 643
814 276 654 436