Population and Environment

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 400–419 | Cite as

Spatial and temporal residential density patterns from 1940 to 2000 in and around the Northern Forest of the Northeastern United States

  • Miranda H. Mockrin
  • Susan I. Stewart
  • Volker C. Radeloff
  • Roger B. Hammer
  • Kenneth M. Johnson
Original Paper


Over the past 60 years, housing growth has outpaced population growth in the United States. Conservationists are concerned about the far-reaching environmental impacts of housing development, particularly in rural areas. We use clustering analysis to examine the pattern and distribution of housing development since 1940 in and around the Northern Forest, a heavily forested region with high amenity and recreation use in the Northeastern United States. We find that both proximity to urban areas and an abundance of natural amenities are associated with housing growth at the neighborhood level in this region. In the 1970s, counterurbanization led to higher rates of growth across rural areas. The Northern Forest now has extensive interface between forest vegetation and residential development, which has the potential to profoundly alter the ecological and social benefits of these forests.


Housing density Housing growth Sprawl Amenity growth Cluster analysis Northern Forest 



We gratefully acknowledge support for this research by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service and the Northeastern States Research Cooperative. References to software products are provided for information only and do not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or the U.S. Government, as to their suitability, content, usefulness, functioning, completeness, or accuracy.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA)  2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miranda H. Mockrin
    • 1
  • Susan I. Stewart
    • 2
  • Volker C. Radeloff
    • 3
  • Roger B. Hammer
    • 4
  • Kenneth M. Johnson
    • 5
  1. 1.Rocky Mountain Research StationUSDA Forest ServiceFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Northern Research StationUSDA Forest ServiceEvanstonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Forest Ecology and ManagementUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  4. 4.Department of SociologyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  5. 5.Carsey Institute and Department of SociologyUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

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