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Several simulations of population, income, and employment in rural and urban America during 1970-2000 were made based on alternative assumptions. The assumptions entailed implementation of certain policies that might effect a more equal rural-urban balance by the year 2000, in addition to a continuation of current trends. If basic trends continue, rural outmigration would probably stop or reverse itself shortly after the year 2000, primarily because the gap between the incomes of rural and urban workers would have gradually closed. But the employment-population ratio in rural areas would still be below that in urban areas; hence, overall rural economic growth would still be lower. Policies to increase job opportunities and labor productivity in rural areas were judged to show more promise as development strategies than were policies to reduce the natural rate of population increase or limit outmigration. For per capita incomes and employment-population ratios in rural and urban America to be equal in the year 2000, about 8.8 million more new jobs than are expected from current trends would be needed in rural areas. Of these, 3.7 million would be transfers of jobs that would have been located in urban areas under present trends; the remaining 5.1 million jobs would have to be created to more fully utilize the underemployed rural labor force.


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