The continued decentralization of metropolitan areas has replaced the well-defined daily urban
systems of the 1960's with complex, overlapping commuting fields. This report analyzes county-tocounty
commuting flows in Minnesota and counties in adjacent states to evaluate changes in the state's
urban systems between 1960 and 1990.
Findings confirm that inter-county commuting has increased dramatically, from 7% in 1960 to nearly
19% in 1990. The rate of growth is diminishing, but the total number of commuters is considerable. In
1990, over 70,000 workers commuted to the seven-county Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (TCMA) from
Greater Minnesota. Results of a multivariate statistical procedure, factor analysis, confirm that exurban
counties between the Twin Cities and nearby regional centers have been drawn into a complex web of
interconnected, overlapping urban systems.
These findings support the hypothesis that the daily work journey is creating an interdependent
network of urban systems in the densely settled portions of the state. The increasing gap between the
seven-county TCMA and the practical extent of the Twin Cities underscores the question whether the
jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Council should expand to include counties connected by the daily flow of
workers to the Twin Cities.
Adams, John S.; Wyly, Elvin K..
Commuter linkages among counties in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.
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