This section is from the book "Principles Of Sociology With Educational Applications", by Frederick R. Clow. Also available from Amazon: Principles of sociology with educational applications.
Density of population affects education by its bearing on the degree to which schools can be specialized. If the pupils in one school are few, there can be little variety in the teaching and the equipment must be meager; the education can be as broad and advanced as human culture itself only where there are great numbers of pupils. Most of the universities are situated in or near metropolitan cities. The North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools refuses to approve a high school with fewer than four teachers. An investigation made in 1912 of 667 of the nearly 800 approved schools showed that only 74 of them were in cities and towns of 2500 inhabitants or under, and there were over 5000 such communities in the states represented.1
A Comparative Study of City School and Rural School Attendance, University of Iowa Studies in Education, . . . shows that . . . although town teachers are paid higher wages, the cost for teachers per pupil per day is 25 per cent higher in rural schools, and although town schools have better equipment and better buildings, the cost for maintenance per pupil per day is 18 per cent higher in the country. - Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 3, p. 481.
In the Old World, where it is common to find the agricultural population living in small villages, the rural school problem is simpler; but in this country, where it is usual for the farmer to live on the land which he cultivates, and the average farm contains 136 acres, the problem of providing suitable rural schools has defied satisfactory solution. In the regions where irrigation has been developed, or where intensive culture of any kind comes in, the situation is different. An example of this is the new town of Twin Falls in Idaho. There during the year 1912-13 the children from the surrounding country who came in to school numbered 400. There were 19 wagons employed to bring them, with an average length of route of only four miles and the longest only a little over five miles.