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This study analyzes per capita expenditure trends among selected fast-growing Maine towns from 1970-2004. The ten communities studied are termed as “suburbanizing” towns. This term is used to describe towns that over the past 30-40 years have been in the process of transition from rural to suburban – in terms of their population and housing densities, their forms of government, and the services they provide, as well as other characteristics.1 Such towns are of particular interest because they have been absorbing a healthy percentage of the state’s population growth during this time period, often at the expense of Maine’s service center communities. Study of these suburbanizing towns, therefore, has potential to provide valuable insights as to the cost and dynamics of sprawl – at least as it unfolds at the local level.



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