The changing profile of a city in the United States is apparent in the shifting definitions used by the United States Bureau of the Census. In 1870 the census officially distinguished the nation's "urban" from its "rural" population for the first time. "Urban population" was defined as persons living in towns of 8,000 inhabitants or more. But after 1900 it meant persons living in incorporated places having 2,500 or more inhabitants.
Then, in 1950 the Census Bureau radically changed its definition of "urban" to take account of the new vagueness of city boundaries. In addition to persons living in incorporated units of 2,500 or more, the census now included those who lived in unincorporated units of that size, and also all persons living in the densely settled urban fringe, including both incorporated and unincorporated areas located around cities of 50,000 inhabitants or more. Each such unit, conceived as an integrated economic and social unit with a large population nucleus, was named a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA).
Each SMSA would contain at least (a) one central city with 50,000 inhabitants or more or (b) two cities having shared boundaries and constituting, for general economic and social purposes, a single community with a combined population of at least 50,000, the smaller of which must have a population of at least 15,000. Such an area included the county in which the central city is located, and adjacent counties that are found to be metropolitan in character and economically and socially integrated with the country of the central city. By 1970, about two-thirds of the population of the United States was living in these urbanized areas, and of that figure more than half were living outside the central cities.
While the Census Bureau and the United States government used the term SMSA (by 1969 there were 233 of them), social scientists were also using new terms to describe the elusive, vaguely defined areas reaching out from what used to be simple "town" and "cities". A host of terms came into use: "metropolitan regions", "polynucleated population groups", "conurbations", "metropolitan clusters", "megalopolises", and so on.
【題組】47. Which of the following is NOT true of an SMSA?
(A) It has a population of at least 50,000
(B) It can include a city's outlying regions
(C) It can include unincorporated regions
(D) It consists of at least two cities.