According to a 2014 study from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, rural areas of the state grew by 6% from 1980 to 2010, and study estimated that from 2010 to 2040 the rural parts of the state would slow, but still add 4%.
U.S. Census estimates as of 2017 were painting a different story though. With 27 of the 30 counties in the state that are designated as rural (non-metro) seeing population declines from 2010.
Part of the discrepancy could be that project models aren’t perfect, or expose the big argument of what is “rural.” Some of rural’s population decline could be linked to success. When counties that were historically considered rural see urban sprawl on their borders, it can change their designation to a “metro” county. Moving tens of thousands of people from a rural to metro designated total.
When you have a suburban sprawl from a major city like Chicago, or Charlotte extending into an area, sure forty or eighty thousand people doesn’t add a lot to a a few million, but in states where some rural counties Cameron, or Forest Counties in Pennsylvania, have less than 10,000 residents, it can flip state wide numbers from slow growth, to major decline.
Posts about Pennsylvania
Lost Americana is about telling the stories of the people who live in rural America.
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•Were you the last class to graduate from a rural school before it closed its doors forever?
•Do you know of a small town (under 2,000 people) that is a shell of it’s former self?
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