Population Movements

Where the Public Interest and Private Interests Conflict

by Peter A. Morrison

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Explores the social and individual benefits and drawbacks of U.S. migration to urban areas, and identifies issues for national population policy. Migration particularly benefits blacks and rural-to-urban migrants, being widely associated with gains in income and reductions in poverty and unemployment. Public policy to encourage hesitant potential migrants may induce still more benefits, but may be no more effective than spontaneous forces. Urban concentration, movement of whites from the inner city to suburban rings, and dwindling population in economically outmoded rural areas also challenge the public interest and confront policymakers with three issues: how to manage the environmental stresses of urban growth, how to reduce the socially divisive and economically paralyzing effects of racial discrimination, and how to alleviate the inequities imposed on people left in declining areas. (See also R-864.)

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