Population Movements and the Shape of Urban Growth

Implications for Public Policy

by Peter A. Morrison


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To identify pertinent issues for U.S. policy on population distribution and urban growth, the study extensively documents social and attitudinal factors that encourage or obstruct migration, and analyzes three major functional streams of population movement: (1) the outflow from economically depressed areas, (2) movement within metropolitan areas, and (3) intermetropolitan migration. In regard to the latter, a relatively few spontaneous growth centers are claiming a disproportionate share of net in-migration, and will crucially affect any strategy for shaping future redistribution of population. Depressed areas need better information on nationwide job opportunities, and improvement in the quality and mobility potential of their labor force, both to facilitate migration and to make these areas more attractive for economic development. Equal access to housing in metropolitan areas is needed to combat social injustice and to prevent the decay of previously sound neighborhoods. (See also R-864, R-987.)

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