Rural America Gets Even Sparser

Populations have declined in the majority of rural areas in the U.S., according to recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
December 19, 2010, 7am PST | Nate Berg
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These rural areas are already among the most sparsely populated in the U.S. But there is also growth in some rural communities.

"[G]rowth in rural America is the exception. A different story is unfolding in places like Lane County, Kan., a wheat- and corn-growing area in the central-west portion of the state that lost 23% of its population - the 11th greatest population loss in the nation among rural counties.

'We're just a small community and there are no jobs, and they're just moving to find other jobs,' said April Berry, 35, a cook at the Frigid Creme diner in downtown Dighton, the county seat, in a phone interview Tuesday night.

Berry said the loss was palpable in the sleepy downtown, where in the last few years, a jeweler and florist closed up shop. Now, she said, locals have to drive 55 miles to Garden City just to get to flowers or jewels, or even find a Wal-Mart."

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Published on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 in Los Angeles Times
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