Significant transformations in the population's structure and pattern of settlement in the Midwest are engendering persistent imbalances associated with decline and growth. The North Central region is now closer than the nation to zero growth, and is getting there faster. The transition from growth to stability has been particularly abrupt in the heavily industrialized East North Central States, where a pattern of no-growth already has emerged in many metropolitan areas and impends for Ohio and Illinois. The transition is marked by a more balanced pattern of population change than before, with metropolitan and nonmetropolitan trends no longer diverging as sharply as in earlier decades. Irregular patterns of growth and decline in the Midwest will compel adaptations, especially at the local level. There will be an ongoing need for facts and analysis that can focus attention on issues associated with impending demographic changes and set the stage for public debate on how to accommodate them.
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