The Rural Nonfarmers
The “rural nonfarm” category has teen our most rapidly growing population segment, increasing by 3.’Z percent between 1950 and 1960, by 48 percent between 1960 and 1970, and by 20 percent between 1970 and 1980, by which time nearly one-fourth of the population fell into this category. ( n called “suburbanites,” either their obliges are too <, tall under 2,500) or their too thinly scattered to be deflate a “urbanized areas. ” These people are not engaged in areas these people not engaged former .
The Fading Rural-Urban Distinction
Urban-rural differences of all sorts are rapidly shrinking in the Western world, and. soon this will probably be true everywhere. The rural-urban distinction became secondary to the occupational distinction in importance at least two decades ago [Stewart, 1958; Dewey, 1960}. The distinctive rural pattern of life is more closely linked to. an agricultural occupation than to mere residence in a rural area. . Some years ago, a study of rural-urban differences in interpersonal relations found that from people difficult fr urban residents, while tr little difference between urban and rural nonfarm people [Reiss, 1959J. Clearly, occupation has become more important than rural or urban residence as a clue to one’s personality and way of life. One rural sociologist concludes, “There is rio rural society and there is no rural economy. It is metely our analytical distinction, our rhetorical device” [Copp, 1972]. We now have an urban culture, in which place of residence is one of the least important of all social indicators in the United States. In less developed and urbanized societies, however, the rural-urban distinction remains significant[Rosen, 1973].