Sharon Kunkel

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Robert T. Wagner


The investigation of this problem is important since little empirical research has been done in the area of zero population growth as a result of controlled fertility and its consequences. Historically, the only other country to reach such a stage in development was France in the 1930's, and this stage was relatively short-lived. Consequently, one cannot turn to historical precedents for insights into the consequences of a no-growth population. In fact, most of the literature written on the subject is mainly conjecture. This problem is also timely since it is projected that zero population growth will soon be a reality in the United States, and even sooner in South Dakota. The possible implications of such a trend should be examined so appropriate state and agency action can be taken if needed, to anticipate possible consequences and to assist in forecasting such rural services as health, education, and gerontological needs. This study will try to accomplish two major objectives. It will attempt to:

1. Determine to what extent South Dakota is approaching a zero population growth model.

2. Examine selected demographic and social consequences associated with zero population growth in a rural area like South Dakota.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

South Dakota -- Population



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University