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United States. The earliest figures were not gathered until the exodus of Finns had been underway for more than a decade and had already grown to considerable numbers. The director of the Finnish Central Office of Statistics wrote the Senate a memorandum, 15 December 1881, calling attention to the need for statistical information on emigration, 36 and from 1883 on the governor of the province of Vaasa furnished such information, and Oulu began to supply statistics the following year, but it was not until 1893 that all the provinces were instructed to do so. Even after that date there is some uncertainty about the figures gathered, because up to 1924 every person was considered an emigrant who was given a passport for employment abroad, and it was not until after that date that only those were classified as emigrants who actually left the country. Furthermore, up to 1924 all persons who left for the United States, Canada or South America were lumped together. And lastly, any move through an intermediary country to the United States as final destination remains completely out of the scope of the Finnish statistics. Ever since the days of the Delaware settlements three centuries ago, such intermediary countries have been Sweden, later Norway, in the nineteenth century, and lastly Soviet Russia, from where there was some movement both in and out after the Finnish civil war and during the 1920s and 1930s. Even the statistics available in the United States are of no great help, because in these figures the Finns were included, up to the turn of the century, under the country of origin, which in their case was considered to be Russia. In addition to that, the 1900-1908 American statistics must be handled with the warning that they do not indicate those persons returning to the country after having already been here once. The Finnish Statistical Bureau and the United States Bureau of the Census statistics are based on the calendar year, while the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization figures use the fiscal year ending June 30th. Finally, there must be taken into consideration language difficulties and vast distances which can confuse the census takers. 37

The estimated figures for emigration from Finland to the United States have been given by various researchers as follows:

D. H. Kilpi:

1871-75   ap   225   1881-85    3,717

1876-80    220   1886-90    21,968 (38)

36. Minutes of the Imperial Finnish Senate, 1881. State Archives, Helsinki. 37. H. P. Fairchild, op. cit. p. 124.

38. J. Wargelin, op. cit. p. 56.


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