The Movement of Population
One of the most important migration trends of the decade was the movement into Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana from all directions, in part as a result of the wartime stimulation of industry and the rapid growth of automotive manufacture. Two aspects of immigration during the two decades after 1897 immediately catch the attention of the student—its tremendous size and the continued shift in origin. In the entire history of American immigration only the decade 1840-1850 showed a larger inflow relative to the population already in the United States. Immigration from central, southern, and eastern Europe began to increase rapidly after 1890; by the middle of the decade it surpassed that from northern and western Europe. The Immigration Commission, in fact, had studied with the greatest care the influence of the new immigration upon labor conditions and wages. It was also clear that the new immigration as a whole represented a lower economic and cultural background.