The People of New England
Let us now proceed to obtain what true facts and understanding we can from the foregoing records as to the people of New England, their numbers, distribution, and composition, and how these have come to be what they are. Chart 1 of Chapter 2 showed the general distribution of population of New England, and of adjacent parts of neighboring states and of Canada. Chart 11 accompanying shows in more detail the distribution within New England itself. The size of the circles indicates the relative size of the cities; the dots the relative density of the rural population. Almost without any population appear the "wild land" area in northern Maine, a smaller tract almost as wild in southeastern Maine, the White Mountains area of northern New Hampshire and extending into Essex County in Vermont, and limited stretches of the Green and Taconic Mountains in Vermont. The Eastern and Western Highland territory averages from 1 to 15 inhabitants per square mile except for occasional urban towns; likewise some territory in southeastern Maine and central New Hampshire that may be designated as the "farmforest margin." The distinctly farming areas of New England, located in northern Vermont and south central to southeastern Maine, once devoted to general farming, now more largely to dairying than anything else, mostly average from 15 to 30 inhabitants per square mile. The rural areas dominated by cities -- eastern Connecticut, all of eastern Massachusetts, the Connecticut Valley well up into Massachusetts -- have a population of from 30 to 75 per square mile, and even more close to cities. By no means is all of this population agricultural.
The urban population of New England, and most of the appendant "rural" population, is focused about the two metropolitan centers, New York and Boston. We shall later discover that this fact furnishes the basis for much of the structure of rural land values in New England. The census of 1940