Report: Rural America is Shrinking
For the first time in U.S. history, the rural population has declined.
A new report found that the number of Americans who live in rural communities dropped by 289,000 over the last decade.
While it translates to just about 0.6 percentage points, it marks a significant slowdown from recent decades, when rural America added population.
Rural communities added 3.4 million residents between 1990 and 2000 and1.5 million residents between 2000 and 2010.
“The actual size of the loss isn’t a particularly big deal,” Kenneth Johnson, a demographer at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.
“The fact that it actually happened, that rural America as a whole lost population, reflects a significant change. The question is, is it just a short-term thing, or is it a longer-term thing?”