The Transformation of the Great Plains States
While small towns have continued to depopulate and fade away, Kotkin argues that the urbanized areas have done well for themselves during a down economy.
Talking with a business professor in North Dakota, Kotkin writes that the primary drivers of the new growth "are basic industries like agriculture and energy. Salaries may be low by coastal standards, but so are living costs. And the prices of commodities like beef, soybeans, and grains have generally continued to rise, due in large part to growing demand from China, India, and other developing countries."