Survey of Local Growth Issues (RCED-00-272, September 2000)

Faced with a projected 50-percent increase in the U.S. population in the next 50 years, communities across the nation must address the challenges of planning for and managing growth. State and local governments are balancing the need for sustainable economic growth with the need to maintain a quality of life, deliver key services, and confront fiscal constraints.

GAO surveyed 1,926 cities and counties across the United States on a wide range of growth-related issues and concerns and received an 81-percent response rate. GAO surveyed all cities with populations over 25,000 and all counties in metropolitan areas. GAO's survey revealed a variety of communities' views about their pace of growth; the challenges they face while planning for and managing growth; their planning strategies and priorities; the tools and techniques they use to plan for and manage growth; the influence of federal funding and policies; and options for changes in federal programs. We reported the results from the survey in our report entitled Community Development: Local Growth Issues--Federal Opportunities and Challenges (GAO/RCED-00-178).

Below is the list of topics covered by our survey. If you would like to see more detailed information on the views of cities and counties, click on the table next to the topic.

Information is available for each state (including its response rate); for rural and nonrural counties; and for central and noncentral cities. Rural counties are those counties in metropolitan areas that described their communities as rural in our survey. Central cities are cities within metropolitan areas that meet the Office of Management and Budget's definition of a central city. To view information about any of the topics listed below, click on the topic.