Rural Communities See Population Growth Two Years Running

Once bleeding population, rural areas gained population once again in 2023.

1 minute read

April 3, 2024, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Rural community qith quaint homes and white steepled church against forest with fall colors and German shepherd dog in foreground.

Waits River Village in rural Vermont. | SeanPavonePhoto / Adobe Stock

Rural communities in the United States gained population for a second year running in 2023, reports Sarah Melotte in the Daily Yonder. The number of people living in nonmentropolitan areas grew by 109,000 residents, or 0.24 percent, between 2022 and 2023. 

According to Melotte, “The gain came primarily in counties that are closest to metropolitan areas and was the result of people moving to those counties from other parts of the country or internationally.” Southern states like Texas and Florida led the way for rural population growth in raw numbers and increase rate, respectively.

The growth reverses a trend seen in the 2010s, when rural areas lost roughly 300,000 people.

Major metropolitan areas gained 128,000 residents, signaling a return to pre-pandemic growth levels after losing population during the early phases of Covid-19.  Meanwhile, “The biggest gains in population occurred in the suburbs of medium-sized metros, which added 183,000 residents to the population, a 1% growth since 2022.”

Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in The Daily Yonder

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