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Elliott, James R. (1997). Cycles within the System: Metropolitanisation and Internal Migration in the US, 1965-90. Urban Studies, 34(1), 21-41.


This paper uses a typology of local metropolitan development to examine population redistribution trends in the US over the past three decades. Theories of systemic maturation and urban life-cycles are discussed and evaluated. Analysis of population and inter-county migration data reveals that localised deconcentration has become an increasingly common sub-process of metropolitanisation, but that this sub-process cannot be fully explained by a life-cycle model of metropolitan development. More importantly, results indicate that metro-based migration varies significantly with local patterns of metropolitanisation. The nature of this variation implies that declining metropolitan areas tend to redistribute migrants to relatively distant metropolitan and non-metropolitan territory in a manner consistent with extended processes of population deconcentration.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Urban Studies


Elliott, James R.