Both population and employment moved from rural to urban areas. In the postwar period, the United States has undergone three other important shifts in the distribution of people and jobs: the movement from the frostbelt to the sunbelt; the movement within metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) from central cities to suburbs (suburbanization); and the relatively faster growth of jobs and people in small and less dense MSAs (deconcentration). The first two regional shifts — frostbelt to sunbelt and city to suburbs — are well known. The third shift — deconcentration — is not so well known.1

This article appeared in the November/December 2000 edition of Business Review.

  1. Deconcentration refers to the slower growth of dense and large MSAs so that the proportion of total MSA population and total MSA employment in dense and large MSAs has declined while the proportion in less dense and smaller MSAs has increased.
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