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During the Twentieth Century, the growth of population in the Omaha SMSA has been greatest in the post-war period. In the decade between 1950 and 1960, for example, the growth approximated 25 per cent. Much of this increase has resulted from cycles of residential construction in the fringes of the urbanized area, a situation known as urban sprawl. This sprawl has taken place in each of the three counties comprising the SMSA, but most significantly it has occurred in the territory west and south of the city of Omaha. A considerable portion of the population of the SMSA now exists in this former outlying area. However, not all areas of the metropolitan region have been growing. Population densities in portions of the central city have fallen sharply as out-migration has persisted. Population losses have also been experienced in the predominantly rural areas outside the zone of urban contact.