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Paper explores the divergence in nonmetropolitan and metropolitan development over the past decade by addressing three questions. First, what economic forces both domestic and international, contributed to the slowdown in nonmetropolitan growth over the 1980s. Second, how has the slowdown in nonmetropolitan growth affected the distribution of earnings of its workers and what can we learn from examining demographic, regional and industry differences? Finally, paper explores what likely impacts of national and international economic forces in the future. Report foresees that economic decline in nonmetropolitan America does not show signs of reversal in the short-term.