LOGAN A MIGHTY `MICROPOLIS'

Published: Sunday, Dec. 3 1989 12:00 a.m. MST

Research reported in a national magazine lists Logan as the 25th fastest growing "micropolitan" area in America. It was also recognized as the fifth most educated and the sixth youngest.

"Micropolitan areas" is a term created by G. Scott Thomas to describe small cities that are not a part of metropolitan areas. To be a micropolitan area, a single county must have more than 40,000 residents and a core city of at least 15,000. (Cache County is near 70,000 and Logan is about 30,000.) According to Thomas, there are 219 micropolitan areas in the United States, comprising more than 15 million people and about 6 percent of the nation's population. Thomas is a partner of Niagara Concepts in Tonawanda, New York.Other micropolitan areas include Corvallis, Ore.; Pullman, Wash.; Ames, Iowa; Ithaca, New York; Idaho Falls, Idaho; and San Luis Obispo/Atascadero, Calif.

The research appeared in the May 1989 issues of "American Demographics." In the article, Thomas concluded by saying, "Micropolitan areas, by definition, will always take a back seat to their metropolitan counterparts. But they may benefit from business competition in the 1990s as retailers look for untapped markets. Micropolitan areas may also become a haven for metropolitan residents seeking to escape the stresses of metropolitan life. The `other America' may become increasingly popular in the next decade."

The Logan "micropolis" is a good example of those trends as it is a leader in Utah economic development and retail sales. Cache Valley's balanced economic growth has been cited not just in Utah, but also on a number of national forums. Cache Valley's unemployment hovers just above the 3 percent level. The area's median income has increased $2,200 in the past four years.

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