ERIC Number: ED201694
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Recent Patterns of Population Change in America's Urban Places.
McCarthy, Kevin F.
Current U.S. settlement patterns have begun to exhibit a significant shift away from very large metropolitan centers toward more thinly settled peripheral areas. This new trend has been the subject of many recent studies which have considered data on the county level but have been unable to detect population movement within counties and among individual communities. This study reports an analysis of data that can reveal, for the first time, these patterns within counties. The following questions are examined: (1) As population has dispersed outward from urban counties during the 1970s, what form of settlement has appeared in outlying counties? (2) What factors are associated with consolidation and/or dispersion at the local level? (3) What do local settlement patterns imply for the future redistribution of America's population? Findings indicate that growth in and around metropolitan centers continues to conform to the dispersion model. Outside those centers, however, settlement patterns appear to be mixing the processes of consolidation and dispersion, representing a sharp departure from the traditional nonmetropolitan pattern. Possible explanations for this new trend relate to: (1) the diseconomies of scale that accompany increased city size, and the diffusion of communication and transportation to nonmetropolitan communities; or (2) changing historical circumstances that have produced a "smaller is better" ethos. (Author/GC)
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA.