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Abstract

Excerpted from the report Highlights: Trends in population, income, employment, and capital during 1960-70 were leading to equal per capita incomes between the nonmetropolitan and metropolitan sectors of the United States by the year 2000 and to abatement of the exodus of people from rural America. Changes from these trends in the early 1970's point to accelerated growth for rural areas compared to the 1960's, but suggest continued rural-urban imbalances with regard to unemployment levels and income per capita. Analyzed are seven types of development strategies directed at achieving rural-urban balance by 1990. Each strategy explored has some potential for raising nonmetropolitan income; but each in isolation displays undesirable side effects on migration, dependency, unemployment, wages, or the level of general business activity. A multifaceted problem requires a mixed strategy. A mixed strategy which promotes joining the labor force, creating jobs, and increasing resource productivity can stimulate nonmetropolitan growth with few undesired side effects. Strategies which enhance capital accumulation and expand markets have limited benefits. Those which directly influence migration or natural population increase are not required.

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