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Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955 : U.S. Zone). Office of Military Government. Civil Administration Division. / Population changes, 1947 : U.S. Zone Germany

Introduction,   pp. 4-5 PDF (764.9 KB)

Page 4

DEnDI 11 ArIrRl  I'LJ A l'CEQ I10 i17
I  %   I  I  I' I I r       Iv  w, v  __ _ ___ ____ _ v___As__<__
In normal times, current intercensal population estimates for a
territory like the U. S. Zone of Germany can be prepared rather easily and
with a relatively small margin of error on the basis of vital statistics
and a knowledge of migration. Under present conditions in Germany, however,
the simple but fundamental question of how many people are living within
the U.S. Zone can be answered only by estimates involving a number of prob-
lems and a relatively high margin of error. Vital statistics are as re-
liable as they were formerly; on the other hand, reliable migration statis-
tics covering the postwar period are still unavailable. The urgent require-
ment for population data to meet the needs of the cumulating economic.
.social, and political problems in the U.S. Zone of Germany has made it im-
perative that demographic investigation be pursued in spite of the numerous
gaps existing in the sources of information. In many areas it has been
necessary to employ new a   roaches and unusual techniques in the develop-
ment of significant data.y
The only source of current population estimates available under
present conditions in Germany is the ration card count, the principal basis
for the figures of this report. It must be kept in mind that the ration
card count, derived from ration card distribution is not a primary source
of population statistics. The ration card count is the basis for food al-
locations and for estimates of future demand. During the last two years,
German statistical agencies of the U.S. Zone have persistently attempted
to adapt ration card count to the requirements of population statistics,
and some progress has been made in this field; nevertheless, the ration
card figures furnish only a head count and are not as reliable as popula-
tion statistics normally are. No breakdown by sex and age groups, neces-
sary for thorough demographic investigation, is available.
Ij Special credit is due Dr. Wilhelm Bauer of the Civil Administration Division
for his contributions in basic research and original analysis.
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