Report: Gore to Stake
Urban Sprawl Argument
on Inappropriate Data

6 December 1999: 16:00 EST

Demographia has received an reliable report that data will soon be released by the US Department of Agriculture's National Resource Inventory (NRI), which indicates that the pace of land urbanization accellerated in the 1992 to 1997 period.

  • According to NRI, from 1987 to 1992, the there was an increase of 11,700 square miles of developed land in the United States.

  • It is reported that soon to be released data will indicate that from 1992 to 1997, the increase in developed land was 25,000 square miles.

    These data, however, do not necessarily indicate a significant change in urbanization. According to the United States Census Bureau, the total area of the nation's 396 urbanized areas was 61,000 square miles in 1990, less than one-half the 133,000 square miles classified as developed by the NRI in 1987. Virtually all of the concern about "urban sprawl" (suburbanization) is in the fewer than fifty largest urbanized areas that have populations of more than one million. The NRI classifies significant amounts of land that are not in urbanized areas as developed, and as a result this category is not a reliable standard for measuring the increase of suburbanization.

    It has also been reported that Vice-President Gore will use this reported increase in developed land to support his view that it is imperative to implement measures to reduce the pace of urbanization.

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