Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Marvin P. Riley


An analysis of socioeconomically defined ecological areas through the replication of the patterned factorial design developed by Loeb! at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The major emphases of the study were to: (1) delineate homogeneous, although not necessarily contiguous, social areas using the patterned factorial design; (2) determine the capability of the previously delineated social areas to account for significant amounts of variation in residually measured net migration; (3) compare the procedures and results of the present study with those of Loebl's work. The study region consists of the states of North Dakota and South Dakota. The units of analysis are the 120 counties contained within the two-state region. Use is made of secondary source data from the 1970 Census of Population and Housing for the selection of variables employed in the delineation of social areas in an effort to provide insight into the socioeconomic structure of the population. The major findings and conclusions of the study were: 1. By utilizing the patterned factorial design a limited number of significantly loaded variables distributed among iii three factors (dimensions) were generated which accounted for 89.4 percent of the total variation in county social structure. 2. The quartile indexing procedure employed as an integral part of the patterned factorial design arranged the social areas along a continuum ranging from those areas exhibiting characteristics of relatively stable populations to those with characteristics of dynamic or potentially changing populations due to natural increase (decrease) and/or net migration. 3. When the previously delineated social areas were used to account for variation in net migration patterns among counties between social areas, it was found that the method used failed to account for significant amounts of variation in net migration until both the extent and direction of migration were taken into account. This is probably, in part, attributable to the extreme degree of homogeneity found in the population of the study region. 4. Comparison of the findings of the present study with those of the Missouri study resulted in similar variable identification. However, the distribution of the variables among the factors (dimensions) was unique to the North Dakota-South Dakota study region. Fewer social areas were delineated with the majority of these falling toward the mid-point of the index range. There was also a marked inability to account for significant variations in migration patterns among counties between social areas as compared with the Missouri study.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Human ecology
Migration, Internal -- North Dakota
Migration, Internal -- South Dakota




South Dakota State University

Included in

Sociology Commons