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Social and Economic Characteristics of the Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Population: 1977 and 1970

Report Number P23-75


This report presents a broad range of data on differences and similarities between the characteristics of the population living in central cities, suburbs and nonmetropolitan areas in 1977, and the changes that have occurred since 1970. Data are presented for selected social and economic characteristics of the population, by type of residence for 1977 and 1970, from the March 1977 Current Population Survey (CPS) and from the 1-in-100 sample of the 1970 Census of Population.

The definition of metropolitan territory used in this report corresponds to that for the 243 standard metropolitan statistical areas (SMSA's) used in the 1970 Census of Population. Between 1970 and December 1973, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defined an additional 25 SMSA's and added territory to some existing SMSA's. Data for this new metropolitan territory are included separately in this report, for both 1977 and 1970.1 Population characteristics are presented as well for three groups of nonmetropolitan counties, based on the 1970 size of the largest place (incorporated city, town, village or borough) in the county. These groups are (1) counties with no place of 2,500 or more population, (2) counties with a place of 2,500 to 24,999 population, and (3) counties with a place of 25,000 or more population.

The major subjects featured in this report are population, marital status, household relationship, family size, migration, educational attainment, labor force status, occupation, industry, income and poverty. Most tables present data for the White and Black populations, and selected tables have been repeated for the population of Spanish origin as well.

1 Since January 1974, nine new SMSA's have been designated, and additional territory has been added to a few existing SMSA's. In this report, these SMSA's are included as part of the nonmetropolitan territory but not as part of the “in counties designated metropolitan since 1970" column. The population in this most recently designated SMSA territory was about 1.5 million in 1976, representing only about 14 percent of the total population added to metropolitan territory since 1970.

A Note on Language

Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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