A generation ago, downtown meant more than simply the center of town. In small Wisconsin communities, downtown was the historical, cultural, social and economic core of the community. However, in recent decades, many downtowns have struggled as businesses, schools, offices, and even the post office have moved to the edge of town.
A recent study by Bill Ryan of over 300 Wisconsin small communities¹ reveals that in spite of these setbacks, downtown remains an important employment center in many Wisconsin small towns.
QUESTION: On average, how many people are employed within one-quarter mile of the center of downtown in the smallest 143 communities in the study (populations 1,000 to 2,500 residents)?
<div style=”text-indent:23px”> A. 75</div>
<div style=”text-indent:23px”> B. 184</div>
<div style=”text-indent:23px”> C. 253</div>
<div style=”text-indent:23px”> D. 400</div>
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On average, 400 people are employed within one-quarter mile of the center of downtown in Wisconsin communities with between 1,000 and 2,500 residents.
An average of 754 people are employed within one-half mile of the center of downtown in these small communities.
Employment in Wisconsin Downtowns, Bill Ryan and Jangik Jin, University of Wisconsin Extension, 2011.