Your County: Boom or Bust?


Your County: Boom or Bust?
The Rise of Penturbia & Fall of Suburbia

by Jack Lessinger, Ph.D.

Published by Socio-Economics, Inc.

Price: $39.99


Suburbia appeared after World War II, a first for the 20th century and beguiling as a fairy tale. Even the air seemed more modern, more precious. From across the nation the elite came to set down roots and open businesses, I call all the counties manifesting this unique settlement pattern a region of opportunity.

Every new region of opportunity comprises a unique stew of architecture, neighborhoods, culture, politics and ambiance. But what determines its distinctive character? What prompts the rise of a successor, and must every rise be followed by a fall? Until my Regions of Opportunity (Random House, 1986) was published, these questions delineated a dark continent, relatively unexplored, widely misunderstood.

96 pages of maps show the migration history of every county in the contiguous United States. Comparative growth rates are given for four periods, 1930-50, 1950-70, 1970-90 and 1990-2004. In addition, the author identifies counties as either probable suburbia, penturbia or neither.

Counties of the fifth region of opportunity I call penturbia. Expect penturban counties to grow vigorously in the decades ahead. For planners, investors and householders, 96 pages of innovative maps (see Appendix, pp 190-289) show declining suburbia, rising penturbia and the unaffected remainder. For 3,107 counties, they compress data on four periods of changing percentage shares of national population: 1930-1950, 1950-1970, 1970-1990 and 1990-2004. The maps also indicate my predictions of likely growth or decline.

-Jack Lessinger