Nelson’s method of functional classification of towns UPSC


In 1955, Nelson released a paper entitled "A Services Classification of American Cities". In his research he used the following facts:
  • They used the 1950 census data of the US population.
  • They used population data from metropolitan and urban areas with populations of more than 10,000.
  • He did not include agricultural and construction activities in urban areas in the research.
  • He used the standard deviation (SD) technique to find out what the city is famous for.

On the basis of urban activities and functions, he divided the cities into nine types and they are listed below:
  • Manufacturing Towns
  • Retail Towns
  • Wholesale Towns
  • Professional services and personal services Towns
  • Public administration Towns
  • Transport and communication Towns
  • Finance and Insurance Towns
  • Real state Towns
  • Mining Towns

Elkhart, Columbus, Lima, San Jose, etc are examples of Manufacturing towns in the USA.

Retain towns are famous for selling goods to the public.
Wholesale towns are famous for buying and selling goods in large quantities.

Try to solve the following questions:
  • Discuss Nelson's method of functional classification of towns. ( UPSC 2015)

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