analysis of Wahpeton, North Dakota. Specific analyses included determining Wahpeton's main and greater trade areas, identifying the demographic profile of Wahpeton shoppers, examining important and less important services for patron shoppers of Wahpeton, identifying neighboring cities that area shoppers patronize, determining distances area shoppers traveled to Wahpeton, and listing popular newspapers and radio stations among area residents. Current trade area information for Wahpeton was obtained from a statewide trade area survey conducted by the Department of Agricultural Economics at North Dakota State University in 1989. Recent trends (1980 to 1989) in Wahpeton population, retail sales, per capita income, pull factors, and Richland County population and employment were identified and discussed. Wahpeton's population, trade area population, and Richland County population have all increased. Retail sales decreased slightly, yet Wahpeton's pull factor has increased. Per capita income in Richland County increased despite decreases in average annual employment in the 1980s. Most demographic and economic measurements were favorable for Wahpeton. The economic situation found in Wahpeton and Richland County could be considered somewhat rare for most cities in rural North Dakota in the 1980s. Wahpeton's trade areas were broken down into main and greater trade areas. A main trade area (MTA) was defined as an area where the majority of township residents purchase a majority of selected goods and services in one city. A greater trade area (GTA) was defined as the area beyond the MTA where some township residents purchase some selected goods and services in one city. Wahpeton's MTA increased in size by seven townships, compared to MTA boundaries determined in 1973. The typical household for survey respondents appears to be a middle-aged married couple, who have completed high school, have few children at home, are primarily employed in agriculture and professional/technical professions, and have resided in the area a large portion of their lives. Main trade area residents traveled an average of 16.3 and 16.9 miles to Wahpeton to purchase selected convenience and specialty goods and services, respectively. Over half (52.6 percent) of the respondents who purchased 50 percent or more of convenience and specialty goods in Wahpeton traveled over 25 miles to purchase the items.wahpeton appears to be an important source for most goods and services for those who shop in Wahpeton; however, Wahpeton could capture more of the available market for clothing items, selected medical services, and agricultural inputs and services. Fargo, Hankinson, Fairmount, Wyndmere, Lidgerwood, and Fergus Falls were the most popular cities for the purchase of nonagricultural goods and services by Wahpeton MTA residents who did not purchase a majority of the good or service in Wahpeton. Hankinson, Mantador, Mooreton, and Wyndmere were popular for purchasing agricultural goods and services. Outshopping analysis revealed no substantial demographic or socioeconomic differences between Wahpeton MTA residents purchasing 50 percent or more and those purchasing less than 50 percent of selected goods and services in Wahpeton. Slight differences between groups were evident only in miles traveled. The Wahpeton News and The Forum (Fargo) were the most popular daily newspapers for Wahpeton MTA and GTA residents, respectively. The Hankinson News and Sargent County Tribune were the most popular weekly newspapers for Wahpeton MTA and GTA residents, respectively. The most popular radio stations for Wahpeton MTA residents included KBMW of Breckenridge, KFGO of Fargo, WDAY of Fargo, and KLTA of Fargo. Although economic times have been difficult, Wahpeton has fared better than cities of similar size, has increased its trade area, and will remain an important trade center in southeastern North Dakota.
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