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Migration and Depopulation of the Metropolis: Regional Restructuring or Rural Renaissance?

Publication Abstract

Frey, William H. 1987. "Migration and Depopulation of the Metropolis: Regional Restructuring or Rural Renaissance?" American Sociological Review, 52: 240-57.

Post-1970 population redistribution shifts in several developed countries have led to unprecedented population losses in their largest metropolitan areas. Migration processes that underlie these shifts in the United States are evaluated in light of two theoretical perspectives which foresee decidedly different redistribution tendencies. The regional restructuring perspective attributes recent losses to selective disinvestment in old manufacturing areas but anticipates gains to command and control center locations for expanded multilocational production organizations. The deconcentration perspective anticipates a pervasive diffusion of population associated with increasing locational flexibility of employers and residents. Redistribution shifts are evaluated by comparing the projected redistribution tendencies of the 1965-70 and 1975-80 migration streams for regions, metropolitan areas, and thirty-five individual metropolises. These comparisons support the deconcentration perspective.

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