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TOEFL Reading Gratis 5

Question 39-50


   The changing profile of a city in the United States is apparent in the shifting definitions used by the United States Bureau of the Census. In 1870 the census officially distinguished the nation’s “Urban” from its “rural” population for the first time. “Urban population” was defined as persons living in towns of 8.000 inhabitants or more. But after 1900 it meant persons living in incorporate places having 2.500 or more in habitants.
   Then, in 1950 the Census Bureau radically changed its definition of “urban” to take account of the new vagueness of city boundaries. In addition to persons living in incorporated units of 2,500 or more, the census now included those who lived in un incorporated units of that size, and also all persons living in the densely settled urban fringe, including both incorporated and unincorporated areas located around cities of 50.000 in habitants or more. Each such unit, conceived as an integrated economic and social unit with a large population nucleus, was named a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA).
   While the Census Bureau and the United States government used the term SMSA (by 1969 there were 233 of them), social scientists were also using new terms to describe the elusive, vaguely defined areas reaching out from what used to be simple ‘towns’ and ‘cities’. A host of terms came into use : ‘metropolitan regions.’ .polynucleated population groups,. ‘conurbations,’ ‘metropolitan clusters,’ ‘megalapolises,’ and so on.Each SMSA would contain at least (a) one central city with 50.000 inhabitants or more or (b) two cities having shared boundaries and constituting, for general economic and social purposes, a single community with a combined population of at least 50.000 the smaller of which must have a population of at least 15.000. Such an area would include the county in which the central city was located, and adjacent counties that were found to be metropolitan in character and economically and socially integrated with the country of the central. By 1970, about two-thirds of the population of the United States was living in these urbanized areas, and of that figure more than half were living outside the central cities.


(QUESTION) What does the passage mainly discuss?

According to the passage, the population of the United States was firs classified as rural or urban in
The word ‘distinguished’ in line 2 is closest in meaning to
Prior to 1900 how many inhabitants would a town have to have before being defined as urban?
According to the passage, why did the Census Bureau revise the definition of urban in 1950?
The word ‘those’ in line 8 refers to
The word ‘constituting’ in line 17 is closest in meaning to
The word ‘which’ in line 18 refers to a smaller
Which of the following is NOT true of an SMSA?
By 1970, what proportion of the population in the United States did NOT live in an SMSA?
The Census Bureau first used the term “SMSA” in
Where in the passage does the author mention names used by social scientists for an urban area?

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