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Fully three out of four nonmetro counties have average out-commuting rates from their towns and places of more than 35 percent. Commuting is one way to take advantage of housing and job options in nearby communities; hence, commuting rates are higher in parts of the country where places are closer together, mainly east of the Mississippi. Commuting rates are higher from smaller towns and places. Commuting implies that creating job opportunities for a community’s residents may not require bringing jobs into that community. Conversely, bringing jobs into a community will not necessarily mean jobs for residents. Separation of work and residence could result in need for social services, housing, and water and sewer facilities that do not decline when jobs do. This separation may also separate sources of tax revenues from the needs.


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