The Geographic Distribution of the US Population and the Student Population During the Progressive Era: 1880–1930
How was the American student population distributed across geographic areas and how has this changed over time? The implications for the educational system would be crucial. The size of the school employee labor force, the number of buildings, and school funding would all be affected. In this chapter I examine the distribution of the US and US student populations from 1880 to 1930. Two geographical concepts are examined: Urban/Rural/Suburban distinctions, and Regional distinctions. There are at least two important reasons why these distinctions are crucial. First, as America moved West, important, geographic distinctions emerged. Secondly, as America moved from an agricultural to a manufacturing/industrial economy, workers moved into urban centers in search of work. Consequently, urban/rural distinctions emerged. Each of these patterns affected education and the demography of American schools.
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