Regional science researchers and scholars continue to distinguish between “urban or metro” and “rural or nonmetro” counties and erroneously portray metro counties to be synonymous to urbanized areas and nonmetro as rural. But the U.S. Census Bureau in 2005 indicated that 51% of nonmetro counties are actually urban places and about 41% of all metro counties in the U.S. can also be classified as rural (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005). A possible conclusion from the above is that there is an emerging interdependence between metro and nonmetro counties and hence between urban and rural areas which can generate both opportunities and challenges for economic development policymaking. Some of the challenges include differentiating urban from rural areas and how such distinctions could militate against public policy formulation to stir up development in the two areas. The review of the literature in this paper shows that the interdependence between rural and urban areas is real and that it is important for regional development practitioners and policy makers to engage in region-based development planning. The paper concluded that the interdependence between adjacent rural and urban or metro and non-metro counties could be used to leverage growth, and engage in successful cooperation to engender regional and global economic power for American communities.
Key words: Rural, urban, interdependence, regional economic development.
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