Most Rural Counties Losing Population

Experts expect the 2020 Census to reveal some potentially startling trends of population decline in rural parts of the country.
June 23, 2018, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Aigars Reinholds

"Rural counties — particularly in the Midwest and Northeast of the U.S. — are losing people due to higher death rates than birth rates and more people moving away than moving in," according to an article by Stef W. Knight.

Knight is reporting findings of a May report by the Pew Research Center [pdf], authored by Kim Parker, Juliana Horowitz, Anna Brown, Richard Fry, D’Vera Cohn and Ruth Igielnik. The report has inspired news posts picked up by Planetizen twice already, in an article discussing commonalities among urban, suburban, and rural communities, as well as another examining the growth of suburban poverty.

Knight's frame for the report's findings focuses on demographic decline, however. "Overall, non-metro areas increased in population between 2000 and 2015, but a majority of rural counties saw their populations dwindle, including 54% of rural counties in the Northeast and 68% of those in the Midwest," according to Knight.

The article breaks down the causes of declining populations (i.e., loss of jobs and youth, birth rates vs. death rates, immigrants and minorities, and opioids).   

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Published on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 in Axios
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