By M. H. J. Finch
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Extra info for A Political Economy of Uruguay since 1870
But the social environment in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was, in many respects, conducive to individual advancement. The immigrant community as a whole was not a small minority group systematically excluded from possibilities of social improvement, and the urban economy was growing rapidly in the 1880s and again after 1900. The threshold of entry into small commerce or workshop manufacturing was low. Moreover, the foundations of general educational opportunity had been laid by Varela in the 1870s, and the university played an important role in preparing the sons of immigrants for higher level occupational positions.
3 per cent. 96 per cent) had more rapid rates. The increasing concentration of population in Montevideo is not explained by a higher rate of natural increase. On the contrary, while there is very little regional variation around the national average death rate, the crude birth rate is markedly higher in the interior than in Montevideo, both in 1908 and 1963, and the difference between them increases still further when allowance is made for under-registration. 22 International migration could explain some of the differential growth, but on the extreme assumption that all immigrants since 1908 have remained in Montevideo, only 15 per cent of the differential population growth rates is explained.
The census of Montevideo taken in 1889 reveals the importance of immigrants in the city, and is also suggestive of the way they were absorbed into the labour force. 8 per cent were foreign-born. 6 per cent: almost two-thirds of the foreignborn were economically active, compared with one-quarter of Uruguayan nationals. 42 Data on the distribution of employment by occupational groups suggests the broad conclusion that immigrants introduced enterprise, skills and labour, while nationals contributed capital and occupied the 'dependent middle class' stratum.
A Political Economy of Uruguay since 1870 by M. H. J. Finch