This report takes a long look at the changing face of rural America. It highlights overall population trends and pinpoints the role that various factors — such as geography, economic activity and ethnicity — have played in shaping small-town USA.  It is part of a series, produced by The Carsey Institute, which aims to reinvigorate discussions on policies and programs that invest in rural American life.  

November 19, 2006

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    The latest research on rural population trends.

  2. 2

    What challenges rural communities face.

  3. 3

    Why rural America must play a greater role in policy decisions.

  4. 4

    Real-world stories of rural counties in flux.

Key Takeaway

It is critical that policymakers consider the rural perspective and invest in rural communities

Between 1994 and 2001, annual federal spending on urban development was two- to five-times higher per capita than spending on rural community development. This support falls short, say experts, who note that investing in rural America is essential to helping these areas weather both population losses and growth.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations