The geographic concentration of economic activity across the eastern United States, 1820-2010

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Abstract

The historical dynamics of the geographic distribution of economic activity across the eastern United States between 1820 and 2010 are examined using the smallest feasible geographic entities, counties, as units of analysis. The region first experienced increasing spatial concentration of population and manufacturing, with inequality peaking early in the twentieth century. Population and manufacturing have since become more dispersed. Agriculture showed the opposite pattern: initial dispersion followed by increasing concentration. Initially, counties with a high manufacturing density also had a high agricultural density. Eventually, agricultural production moved to outlying areas while manufacturing remained concentrated near where it originated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-81
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Historical Geography
Volume41
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Archaeology

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