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Measures of Urbanization

Jack P. Gibbs
Social Forces
Vol. 45, No. 2 (Dec., 1966), pp. 170-177
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2574387
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2574387
Page Count: 8
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Measures of Urbanization
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Abstract

The conventional measure of the degree of urbanization is based on an arbitrary minimum urban size limit and does not reflect the urban size hierarchy. Two measures are proposed as alternatives-the scale of urbanization and the scale of population concentration. The former, like the degree of urbanization, is based on an arbitrary minimum size limit; but it does reflect the urban size hierarchy. A measure of scale of population concentration also reflects the size hierarchy, but it considers all points of population concentration (i.e., no minimum size limit is employed). Comparisons among 18 countries and over time in the United States reveal that all three measures are closely related. However, there is evidence that in highly industrialized nations the scale of urbanization is now changing at a greater rate than the degree of urbanization.

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