Dispersion of Industry

Archive Report

Postwar Trend Toward Industrial Dispersion

Industry Expansion and Changing Locational Patterns

During the period of nearly three years since V-J Day there has been a marked acceleration in the long-term trend toward geographical decentralization of American industry. “Factory smokestacks,” one business weekly writes, “now dot landscapes that used to be barren of all but white cotton bolls or waving wheat. Now you can run along the Pacific or Gulf coasts and get the feel of teeming urban metropolises. In older days they were characteristic solely of the Lake Shore of the Atlantic seaboard.”1

The increased tempo of the decentralization movement is primarily the result of industrial expansion since the war. American industry spent $16.2 billion for new plant and equipment in 1947 and is expected to spend ...

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