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Old 01-17-2009, 09:54 AM
 
32 posts, read 83,360 times
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I've looked through the posts and was wondering what is the definition of a small town?

Just curious how everyone defines it. How many people?
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:14 AM
 
Location: MO Ozarkian in NE Hoosierana
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IMHO, it varies... but basically, a place that has less than ~3-5k is small town. As pop increase, of course, there be more amenities, more larger spread, increase of civic functions, more gov't oversight, etc. But, its all relative - depending on the part of the state, even what state you are in - yet maybe overall:

<1k = hamlet
<3-5k = small town
5k-10k = town
10k-30k = large town
30k-100k = small city
100k-1m = city
1m-10m = large city
>10m =yikes!!! where's the blue sky and trees?!?!
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Old 01-17-2009, 03:56 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
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For me, ShadowCaver save a lot of typing. Dead on for me as well.
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Old 01-17-2009, 06:48 PM
 
48 posts, read 211,619 times
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When I think small town I think around two thousand. Most of those two thousand life outsite of the actual town with maybe five hundred actually "in town". I think no traffic lights, no police station, one store, and one central school. You have to drive ten miles to a grocery store. (On a sidenote, i can get to the gorcery ten miles away faster then I could get to the store three miles away in the burbs!) I think of a place where the stars are brighter at night then the street lights and you can make out all of the constallations. I remember as a kid laying out in the yard at night trying to count the stars. I can't wait for summer and to do that with my daughter.
Thats my personal definition of a small town.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Rolla, Phelps County, Ozarks, Missouri
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Norman Crampton wrote a book titled The 100 Best Small Towns in America. He set the limit at 15,000 population.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
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Anyplace that is smaller than where you now live. It's smaller, so it must be small town.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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< 1,000
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Middle America
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It's obviously pretty subjective. There are threads on this forum where people refer to St. Paul, Minnesota as a "small town." Which is hilarious to me, having grown up in an unincorporated area on the outskirts of a village of 350 people.

To me, small towns don't have suburbs, and aren't suburbs. If you're part of a metro region, you're not a small town, even if your municipality's population is small, simply because your city blends seamlessly, physically, into a bunch of other municipalities.

I would agree with the arbitrary 15,000-20,000 cutoff point for my personal definition of "small town." That said, most of the small towns I've lived in and experienced in my life are far, far smaller. I attended high school in a town of 7,000, college in a town of 10,000, and worked for years as a small-town newspaper reporter and editor covering communities with populations like 2,500 or 800, or 4,000.

When I hear somebody say "small town," my immediate mental picture is that of the town I went to elementary and high school in - 7,000 people, consolidated high school with a lot of us farm kids from outside town attending, no shopping mall for 20 miles and even that one's tiny, often seeing farm equipment coming into town to fuel up and make stops at the grain elevator, teachers who taught your mom and dad and aunts and uncles and cousins, people referring to you as "so-and so's kid," people leaving cars and doors unlocked, never being too far from an unpaved road, so little light pollution at night that you can see a sky full of stars if it's clear, and police officers and volunteer firefighters you know by name, and who know you by name.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:57 PM
 
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I think under 5,000 and probably has no chain stores other than a mcdonalds. If it has a Wal-Mart, its starting to get into larger town territory
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
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I consider my town to be a true "small town". This is one where everyone knows who everyone else is or knows some one who does.

This can not be said for those in the 2 - 3 thousand residents. Sure you may know a lot of them but not in a sense all residents.

A small town has no traffic lights, one small grocery store, one cafe type of eatery. Two gas stations with food, maybe one without. A VFW or American Legion post comes along with it.

Sebeka MN's motto is Small enough to know you, Big enough to Serve you. With in our city limits we have under seven hundred residents. We are in a fight to save our town. Unless we can encourage our childeren to remain there will be nothing left but an aging population. That is the key to our survival. No small task for this small town.
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