Accession Number:

ADA100022

Title:

Recent Patterns of Population Change in America's Urban Places,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1980-08-01

Pagination or Media Count:

31.0

Abstract:

With the advent of renewed nonmetropolitan population growth, settlement patterns within Americas more thinly settled areas have become more evenly distributed. Recent patterns of community growth outside metropolitan areas reflect the rising influence of the population dispersion process. What remains unclear, however, is the extent to which this shift in settlement patterns reflects a permanent realignment of the push and pull factors supporting population consolidation. While an increasing proportion of the population appears to be choosing to live in small communities, the fact that small communities are growing fastest in the most urbanized nonmetropolitan areas suggests that such behavior may represent less a repudiation of urbanization per se than an expressed distaste for life in large cities. As public opinion surveys have repeatedly shown, while Americans have an abiding distaste for life in large cities, their ideal residential community is not an isolated rural farm but rather a small, safe, and environmentally clean community within easy access of a large central city. Thus, the apparent emergence of settlement dispersion may simply be an inevitable byproduct of increasing affluence and technological improvements that have only recently permitted Americans to act upon long-held predispositions. Whether Americans can continue to realize this ideal in a period of rising energy costs and continued devaluation of the dollar remains to be seen.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE