Rural Counties Are Making A Comeback As Urban Counties Lose Luster

Some new census data found rural counties, not cities, are making a comeback—which spells good news for our country.

Last week, findings from Pew Charitable Trusts' "Stateline" blog found that rural countries saw sizable growth in 2016 and 2017. This marked the first time since 2010 where rural areas saw a noticeable spike in population growth. This blog was founded in 1998 on the pretext of "daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy" rooted in "non-partisanship, objectivity, and integrity."

The study also found that rural areas grew approximately 33,000 residents nationwide during this time frame, despite losing over 15,000 residents in the year prior. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines rural areas as "counties outside cities and their suburbs." They cited Jackson County, Georgia, as a prime example of a rural area benefitting from this population shift:

One of those growing areas is Jackson County, Georgia, a rural county that is convenient to Atlanta and Athens, where farm-equipment manufacturing and distribution center jobs have helped fuel a population increase of more than 2,500, almost 4 percent, after a population loss as recently as 2012. In the years since, the county’s population growth has been on a steady upward trend. The county added 428 people in 2013 and 1,603 people in 2016, leading up to this year’s larger boost.

The census data also found population growth in major urban outposts has started to decrease. It stated that growth in urban counties "dropped back to about 900,000 between 2015 and 2016 and to a little more than 700,000 for the period covered in today’s release of census data." Chicago's infamous Cook County lost the most residents between 2016 and 2017—totaling 20,000 residents. These findings also mentioned that urban counties surrounding Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Detroit and Brooklyn had seen a loss of residents during this time, as well.

Per census findings from December 2016, those who reside in rural counties are more likely to own their own homes, serve in the military, and live in their home state.

Over the years, people have been gravitating towards metropolitan areas to seek more opportunities. Politically speaking, urban outposts tend to be managed by Democrats and more secular in their worldview. This also has presented problems for those in the fishing and hunting industries, as increased urbanization—with 80.7% percent of the U.S. population now residing in or close to major cities (2010 U.S. Census)—has been shown to contribute to declines in participation.

Will cities be too big to succeed to succeed? Time will tell. In the meantime, it's encouraging to see rural areas—the bread and butter of America—make a timely comeback.

Comments
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Jawman
Jawman

Yeah, rural counties (I assume in all the US) grew by 33,000, while urban areas grew by 700,000. But if there is something to this those of you in rural counties better be enjoying your last few years of having a pleasant lifestyle free from the control of SJW’s. I pity the poor folks in Jackson County, Georgia.

Jonah_Kyle
Jonah_Kyle

Make damn sure your county has some rock-solid citizenry in the supervisor or administrator seats. We typically take them for granted but in order to ensure that the incoming citizenry come into the county, ensure that we welcome producers and non-takers, while shunning true leechers and anti-constitutional antagonists. Easier said that done, I know, but monitor this development very closely.

Oregun
Oregun

Actually it is a true story of the somewhat lost american dream. I had an opportunity to live in a small central Oregon community without much tax base. The neighbors learned to work together. Formed a volunteer fire department, put up a fire station and trained my son and I as EMT's and fire fighters. It is an experience we will allways remember. I still love the heartland best.

smw
smw

Huh? Rural counties take way more in taxes then they put in. This happens at the state level, county level and city level. The self reliance story is just that: a story.

Billie
Billie

The problem is that the people are moving out of the cities because of crime, expense, etc but once they're in the rural areas nothing suits them but to bring the same kind of government with them. Perhaps in time conservatives will be forced out of the country and into the empty big cities. Think of that!