A Spatial Decomposition of County Population Growth in the United States: Population Redistribution in the Rural-To-Urban Continuum

Frank Howell, Mississippi State University
Jeremy R. Porter, Rice University

A significant theme in demographic studies has been the population redistribution patterns among metropolitan centers, non-metropolitan areas surrounding them, and the so-called hinterlands beyond. However, the metropolitan classification system has a number of inherent flaws concerning the identification of true rural and urban areas. This study aims to partially alleviate the problem through the implementation of a new geography, combined with a spatial decomposition method for combining county and place-level data. Through the use of this geography and population data, we spatially decompose population growth in the U.S at the sub-county level. Furthermore, exploratory spatial data analysis procedures identify sub-county patterns of population redistribution over the two decades of interest. We then model these changes with a county through the use of HLM regression procedures using measures of natural amenities, net migration, natural increase, and institutional-organizational diversity as predictors. A Spatial Decomposition of County Population Growth in the United States

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Presented in Poster Session 7