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The movement of population and economic activity away from urban areas—see Mitchell (2004) J. Rur. Studs 20, 1 for an exhaustive dissertation on the meaning of this term, and Escribano (2007) Tijdschrift 98, 1 for a more nuanced view.

Increased mobility and improved communications, higher incomes, changing household composition, changing technology in manufacturing, and growth of the service sector have led to increased commuting, counter-urbanization, and the urban–rural employment shift (Hodge and Monk (2004) J. Rur. Studs 20, 3). Between 1970 and 2000, the shift of employment and population from the urban core to the suburban fringe carried with it huge inequalities in the distribution of income among Detroit area municipalities. The lowest-income communities, located in the areas suffering the greatest population and employment decline, concentrate in and around the central city; the most affluent are in Detroit's outlying north-west suburbs (Jacobs (2003) Urb. Studs 40).

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