TOEFL Readings 5
The changing profile of a city in the United States is apparent in the shifting
definitions used by the United States Bureau of the Census. In 1870 the census
officially distinguished the nation's “urban” from its “rural” population for the first
Line time. “Urban population” was defined as persons living in towns of 8,000 inhabitants
(5) or more. But after 1900 it meant persons living in incorporated places having 2,500 or
Then, in 1950 the Census Bureau radically changed its definition of “urban” to take
account of the new vagueness of city boundaries. In addition to persons living in incorporated units of 2,500 or more, the census now included those who lived in
(10) unincorporated units of that size, and also all persons living in the densely settled urban
fringe, including both incorporated and unincorporated areas located around cities of
50,000 inhabitants or more. Each such unit, conceived as an integrated economic and
social unit with a large population nucleus, was named a Standard Metropolitan
Statistical Area (SMSA).
(15) Each SMSA would contain at least (a) one central city with 50,000 inhabitants or
more or (b) two cities having shared boundaries and constituting, for general economic
and social purposes, a single community with a combined population of at least 50,000,
the smaller of which must have a population of at least 15,000. Such an area included
the county in which the central city is located, and adjacent counties that are found to
(20) be metropolitan in character and economically and socially integrated with the county
of the central city. By 1970, about two-thirds of the population of the United States was
living in these urbanized areas, and of that figure more than half were living outside the
While the Census Bureau and the United States government used the term SMSA
(25) (by 1969 there were 233 of them), social scientists were also using new terms to
describe the elusive, vaguely defined areas reaching out from what used to be simple “towns” and “cities”. A host of terms came into use : “metropolitan regions,”
“polynucleated population groups,” “conurbations,” “metropolitan clusters,” “megalopolises,” and so on.
39. What does the passage mainly discuss?
(A) How cities in the United States began and developed
(B) Solutions to overcrowding in cities
(C) The changing definition of an urban area
(D) How the United States Census Bureau conducts a census
40. According to the passage, the population of the United States was
first classified as rural or urban in
41. The word “distinguished”in line 3 is closest in meaning to
(A) differentiated (B) removed
(C) honored (D) protected
42. Prior to 1900, how many inhabitants would a town have to have before being defined as urban?
43. According to the passage, why did the Census Bureau revise the definition
of urban in 1950?
(A) City borders had become less distinct.
(B) Cities had undergone radical social change.
(C) Elected officials could not agree on an acceptable definition.
(D) New businesses had relocated to larger cities.
44. The word “those”in line 9 refers to
45. The word “constituting” in line 16 is closest in meaning to
(A) located near
(B) determined by
(C) calling for
(D) making up
46. The word “which ” in line 18 refers to a smaller
(A) population (B) city
(C) character (D) figure
47. Which of the following is NOT true of an SMSA?
(A) It has a population of at least 50,000
(B) It can include a city's outlying regions.
(C) It can include unincorporated regions.
(D) It consists of at least two cities.
48. By 1970, what proportion of the population in the United States did NOT live in
(A) 3/4 (B) 2/3 (C) 1/2 (D) 1/3
49. The Census Bureau first used the term “SMSA” in
(A) 1900 (B) 1950 (C) 1969 (D) 1970
50. Where in the passage does the author mention names used by social scientists for
an urban area?
(A) Lines 4-5 (B) Line 7-8 (C) Line 21-23 (D) Line 27-29
39. C 40. A 41. A 42. B 43. A 44. B 45. D 46. B 47. D 48. D 49. B 50. D