Prairie Small Town Survival the Challenge of Agro-Manitoba

Author: Brierley, John
Todd, Daniel
A study of 58 small towns in Southern Manitoba with conclusions deemed germane for all North American regions whose economies depend on agriculture. Central to this study is the analysis of the underlying characteristics of the varying fortunes of non-metropolitan cultures found in Agro-Manitoba for the 1971-1981 intercensal period. As background for understanding the present state of affairs, the authors first trace the Prairie region of Canada from the opening of the grasslands to commercial wheat farming and the development of rural-based communities from 1870 to 1913, to the consolidation of small towns from 1913 to 1930, to the decline of small-town development during the urbanization that took place from 1913 to the 1970s, to the present revival of small towns, and, finally, to their uncertain futures.


". . . a valuable addition to the growing body of literature on recent population change in small towns in North America.Most of the fifty-eight small towns examined, varying in population from 450 to over 30,000, experienced growth or held their own in the decade 1971 to 1981. Through a sophisticated statistical analysis of a wide variety of social and economic indicators, the authors provide, however, clear evidence that a solid base for future growth exists in only a small proportion of these small towns." - W. J. Carlyle, University of Winnipeg

". . . should prove valuable to all geographers, rural planners, and economists interested in the structural conversion of specialist agricultural regions. It is indispensable for those especially concerned with the Prairie or Great Plains contexts." - Yi Chung Hsueh, Chinese Culture University, Taiwan

"Using shift-share analysis and a two-stage least squares equation, the authors use both objective and subjective data to evaluate the trends of those towns. An interpretation of the analytical results provides the reader with an appreciation of the principal factors affecting the well being of Agro-Manitoba's communities. . .very interesting, both from a methodological and a cognitive perspective." -Dr. J. R. Romanowski, University of Manitoba