Apr 1, 2022Liked by Benn Stancil

Total side point (but isn’t that how internet fights work?). Not even about data people and culture. So feel free to be annoyed.

‪Topeka is not rural, it’s a city of 125K people and an MSA of double that. I worry that many of us in “major metropolitan areas” think any place outside the eastern seaboard, major west coast cities or cool tech hubs is “rural”. ‬I grew up in nearby Kansas City, which is more like a 500K city and 2M metro, so can say from personal experience that Topeka is certainly smaller ,but definitely a little state capital city, not a rural town.

Only reason this matters is that when we say “most people live in cities/urban areas”, that actually counts a ton of small cities like Topeka which make up the bulk of that number. 59M Americans live in the 100 largest cities, whereas 249M Americans live in urban areas.

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That's fair; urban vs rural isn't quite the right split. For beltway journalists, it's much more about coastal metros (DC to Boston; cities in CA) vs everyone else. "Everyone else" in that case clearly includes other urban areas.

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