The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service recently released the annual publication Rural America at a Glance, 2015 Edition. The data presented include population, employment, poverty, and education trends.
This year’s edition shows that rural employment remains below pre-recession levels, but that the pace of employment growth did pick up in the past year, and unemployment declined. Rural poverty declined slightly in 2014 compared to 2013, to 18.1 percent, but remains higher than in urban areas.
The nation’s first time period of decline in the number of people living in rural counties has continued (as opposed to a decline in the rural share of the national population). The period from 2010 – 2014 saw 230,000 more births than deaths in the rural United States, but 346,000 more people moved out of rural counties than moved in. But population change has been uneven, with 700 counties adding more than 400,000 between 2010 and 2014. Population growth counties are concentrated in scenic areas including the Rocky Mountains and southern Appalachia, and in regions with expanding energy economies.
For more information and to view the publication, click here.