People who live in big metropolises, like New York City, London or Hong Kong, often say that they can always find someone within a few miles who has a special skill they need to complete some project or build a business. I’ve pointed out that the close proximity of millions of people with so many different skills is part of what has made cities successful economic engines during the industrial era.
When the population of your town is just a few thousand, there is a much smaller likelihood you’ll find the special skill you need nearby–and thus you’ll be less likely to achieve what you have in mind.
In the United States alone, the Census Bureau has noted in its report “Patterns of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Population Change” that 10% of Americans live in one of the 576 small urban areas (where there is at least one urban cluster of less than 50,000, but at least 10,000 people). That’s about 32 million people. Another 6% lived in neither major metropolitan areas nor even these small urban areas. That’s just under 20 million people.
Read the full story at ntca.org.