Defining Metropolitan Areas and the Rural-Urban Continuum: A Comparison of Statistical Areas Based on County and Sub-County Geography

Accurate ,analysis of the economic and social problems currently facing urban and rural residents, as well as the implementation of programs to address them, depend to a large degree on how settlement is measured. County-based statistical areas misrepresent settlement patterns in parts of the Nation with large counties and limit our ability to track and analyze the geographical restructuring of U.S. population. Criteria currently used to delineate metro and nonmetro areas, and a more detailed county-level, rural-urban continuum, are applied to sub-county data in three States that represent different problems with county-level measurement of settlement patterns. Comparing the resulting sub-county areas with county-level areas shows significant improvement both in the territorial delineation of metro areas and in the classification of population in different types of nonmetro areas. The sub-county system delineates the interstitial space where a metro area ends and the hinterland begins, which is important at a time when central cities are losing their gravitational pull on surrounding metro territory.


Issue Date:
1996-02
Publication Type:
Report
DOI and Other Identifiers:
Record Identifier:
https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/278801
Language:
English
Total Pages:
39
Series Statement:
AGES9603




 Record created 2018-10-22, last modified 2020-10-28

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