Morality table

CBS could rely on routine to conduct a new census. It retained the questions from the previous census, editing them only here and there. One question was added, about blind and deaf-mute people, who had last been counted in 1889. In the housing census a new question concerned cohabitation of parents and their teenage sons and daughters in small dwellings (more than two persons per room). This was called the ‘morality table’: siblings sharing a bedroom was deemed a moral transgression. CBS included this question in its housing surveys until 1956. Asking the question periodically in housing surveys served in a way to gauge the moral state of the country.

One hundred temporary staff taken on

All editorial changes in the questions were implemented only after consultation with the Central Commission of Statistics (CCS). To process the questionnaires, still an entirely manual procedure, the bureau was given access to two buildings and a warehouse on Nieuwstraat in The Hague. Day-to day management of the census was in the hands of the head commissary of the population department, F. Fonck, who had also been in charge of the 1899 census. Again, around one hundred temporary staff were taken on to process the census forms, divided into day and night shifts. Day workers worked six hours, night workers four hours for a wage of 40 cents an hour.
The first table was published in April 1910, with the ‘provisional population statistics according to records provided by municipal authorities’. The first definite figures were published on 22 January 1911, the last in November 1912; early in that year, twenty authors were employed to write this last part, which described ‘recapitulative labour’.

Statistical results

The housing situation was still worrying. The percentage of one-room dwellings was slightly lower than in 1899, just as the average number of persons per room. The deemed morally dangerous cohabitation of parents with young children and adolescents was widespread: in one-room dwellings it was 16.1 percent on average, with excesses of over 20 percent in the provinces Overijssel and Drenthe. The survey of blind and deaf-mute workers showed that blind people were most likely to work as basket and mat weavers or in casual trade, while deaf-mutes were most often cobblers and tailors. Also, on 31 December 1909, 70 thousand non-nationals lived in the Netherlands. One third of these were counted in Limburg province in the south of the country: 70 percent of them were German, 20 percent were Belgian and of the remaining 10 percent one third came from France. The CBS explained the relatively high number of foreigners in Limburg by the growth of the mining industry in the province, which attracted many Germans, but also by the establishment of foreign (French) convents and monasteries there. Added to this, many foreigners settled in the large cities in the provinces of Noord and Zuid Holland.