Selected social characteristics of individuals were examined for groups of villages simultaneously dichotomized by size, location relative to larger cities, and population change. The percent of people having a selected characteristic in each village group of the resulting eight-fold classification was taken as the dependent variable, and difference scores indicating main effects and first order interactions were obtained for each characteristic. The universe is the 375 incorporated places under 2500 in 1950outside the SMSAs of Wisconsin.
Size of place was found to be important for the sex ratio, education and income levels, and labor force and occupational variables. Characteristics associated with nearness to a large city included income, male labor force participation, occupation, and industry. Growth was important for age and sex differences, education, income, and some labor force, occupation, and industry variables. An interaction between location and growth was found for several occupation and industry characteristics.
The consistency between some of the results and previous research on larger places supports the contention that villages, although classified as rural, share many characteristics of urban centers. The industry and occupation differences by location, and the interaction between location and growth, strongly suggest that location is tied closely to function here. Places near cities over 25,000, especially those that are growing, may serve as residences for commuting blue-collar workers, or perhaps as small manufacturing centers, while most places more remote from cities continue to function as small service centers for a rural hinterland.