Ozark: Small Town or No?

In a book I am currently reading on small town ministry, the author defines a "small town" with the following characteristics:

1) a population base (not including rural population which would orient toward the community) between 2,500 and 15,000.

2) the community stands alone; it is not attached to or dependent upon a metropolis as a bedroom community or as a suburb.

So the question is, "Is Ozark a small town?" Judging solely by #1, the answer is "yes." The last I heard, our population was a little under 15,000. But factoring #2 into the equation, Ozark could be considered a larger community, because it is part of the Springfield metro area. (By the way, the city of Springfield's population is now estimated at 170,000.)

Ozark is an interesting case because, in a sense, it still does stand alone. That is to say, it has its own "orbit." It still has outlying communities that come to it for shopping, to conduct business at the courthouse, and other services. But then again, most of Ozark's population commutes to Springfield for work and entertainment, which is the definition of a suburb.

Of course, in the end, it's all relevant. I recall reading an article in a New York newspaper recently that said Brad Pitt is from the "small town of Springfield, Missouri." In contrast, growing up in Plato (pop. 100) I thought Houston was a big place (pop. 2000).

I think it's safe to say that Ozark has qualities of both a small town, and a larger community. But for argument's sake, which is Ozark most like? Let me know your opinion in the poll at right.

Upon doing some further research, Ozark's most recent population estimate is now at 18,095. So by this author's definition, we are not a small town. But that's just his opinion. Go ahead and tell me what you think in the poll at right!