Thesis Title

Growth Patterns in the United States: Impacts on the Local School System

Date of Graduation

Spring 2005


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Dimitri Ioannides


The dominant population growth pattern in the United States over the past fifty years has been the migration of people out of larger, older cities to smaller, newer suburbs which are perceived to offer a better living environment. Federal and local policies, plus personal choice have promoted the migration of populations into the suburbs. With the in-migration of populations into these once rural areas come the demand for new housing and urban services, such as new school buildings. The residents of growing communities often perceive that the development of multi-family residential units will cause a higher impact on the local school system more than the development of any other type of residential unit. This study was performed using the City of Nixa, Missouri, and the Nixa R-II School District to verify if this perception is valid. This study provided a demographic multiplier that determined the enrollment impact of different types of residential units and determined which type of unit had the highest impact on enrollment on the Nixa R-II School district. The methodologies and findings of the Nixa R-II study can be used by other growing suburban communities to decide the school enrollment impact of each type of residential development within their individual community.


decentralization, City of Nixa, Nixa R-II School District, population growth, in-migration, residential development

Subject Categories

Demography, Population, and Ecology | Urban Education | Urban Studies


© Andrea N. Finkbiner