Country Ain't Country No More: A Typology of the Nation's Fast-Growing Peripheral Counties

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Virginia Tech

This study uses data on the fast-growing peripheral counties located in the 50 largest metropolitan areas to test the null hypothesis that counties located on the metropolitan fringe are demographically homogenous. Using multivariate analysis, the analysis statistically identifies distinct groups of counties in the metropolitan fringe. In contrast to much of the standard literature, the research rejects the null hypothesis and suggests that more than one exurbia exists.

This study also explores the varying pressures and demands faced by the different exurban county types in response to massive and compounding growth stresses, recognizing the complexity of managing growth in the fringe and the implications for planners. It is expected that counties identified as "similar" will experience common-responses to different programs and policies addressing growth pressures. Similar counties should therefore use these results to facilitate information exchange concerning successful or unsuccessful strategies.

planning policy, suburban fringe, exurbia, growth management, metropolitan growth