Is Nonmetropolitan America being repopulated? The evidence from Pennsylvania’s minor civil divisions


We analyze population change and net migration, by age and sex, from 1940 to 1970, for 1,834 Nonmetropolitan Pennsylvania Minor Civil Divisions (MCD’s) classified by residence, population potential, socioeconomic status, and distance from metropolitan centers. Our analysis indicates, as expected, reconcentration of residents from both urban and remoter nonmetropolitan localities into exurban peripheries 25 to 35 miles from metropolitan centers. Since 1960, however, a “turnaround” appears in many truly rural tracts, which have been experiencing an influx or retention of persons 35 years of age and older. Statistical explanations are strongest for males in poor, isolated places, weakest for more accessible, socioeconomically advanced places and their female inhabitants. Throughout the study period and area, nonurban MCD’s register more positively than the rural.

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Zelinsky, W. Is Nonmetropolitan America being repopulated? The evidence from Pennsylvania’s minor civil divisions. Demography 15, 13–39 (1978).

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  • Population Change
  • Statistical Explanation
  • Advanced Place
  • Metropolitan Center
  • Residential Type