Newly Incorporated Municipalities (NIMs) in the United States 1990 - 2000: Socioeconomic Differences

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Russell Miles Smith (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Keith Debbage

Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation was to conduct a systematic examination into municipal incorporation activity in the United States through three primary avenues. To accomplish this task Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) and 2000 U.S. Census Bureau data was examined. First, a geographical analysis of NIMs was conducted to determine the essential spatial attributes of newly incorporated municipalities. The geographical analyses of NIMs revealed that the South Census region received a disproportionate share of NIM activity (151 out of 263) and North Carolina witnessed the most incorporations of any state (34). Likewise, a unique clustering of NIMs within certain counties was evident while other NIMs were formed in relative isolation. The geography of these clustering NIMs can be partially explained by a "herd mentality" where a local political culture is established that facilitates the diffusion of a NIM ideology in response to the aggressive annexation tactics of neighboring cities. Secondly, an examination of socio-economic differences between NIMs and their Cohort Cities largely confirmed the existing literature on municipal incorporation. Through the use of a T-test and ANOVA procedures it was determined that NIMs have statistically significantly smaller populations, lower population densities, higher percentages of white residents, higher median household incomes, lower percentages of poverty and larger percentages of residents employed in management occupations compared to existing municipalities. Interestingly, spatial variability by Census Region and Metropolitan designation had little impact on the statistically significant socio-economic variables. Finally, three NIM typologies where identified based on socio-economic variation among NIMs utilizing Principal Component Analysis and Cluster Analysis techniques. These three National NIM Types include Exclusive Enclaves, Suburban Settlements, and Peripheral Communities that deviated based on skills/affluence, age, political affiliation, and race to name a few. The National NIM Typology can serve as a theoretical framework in which scholars can discuss NIMs. Additionally, the typology will assist public policy makers focused on balancing the rights of individual communities with larger concerns of regional economies of scale and efficient use of tax revenues.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2007
Municipal Incorporation, Boundary Change, Metropolitan Fragmentation, NIMs

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