Tennessee; The Volunteer State
With just above 20% of the population living in rural areas, it shouldn’t surprise you that 93% of the land in Tennessee is considered rural. Especially if you’ve driven through there.
Give the fact the state’s motto is “Agriculture and Commerce”, it’s safe to say farming is a big part of what made this state.
Despite good soil and weather, agriculturally wise its mountains and river valleys have made large scale farming hard to do in Tennessee. The average farm there is about 160 acres. It’s a far cry from the 980 acre average in Nebraska or even the national average of 444, but the payoff from that is Tennessee probably has more people connected to the farm than many other states.
That small farm size may actually be helping out some rural counties in the state. With over 77,000 farms, on 41% of the land state wide, they have the 8th highest number of farms. They also have a few things I haven’t seen in my travels, and that’s remote rural counties seeing population growth.
Now overall Tennessee isn’t some rural unicorn. Over half of its 53 rural counties are set to see population declines over the last decade, but in places like Bledsoe & Van Buren Counties, both on the very rural end of the census county designation, it’s a different trend than most other remote rural counties.
Lost Americana is about telling the stories of the people who live in rural America.
•Have you lived in the same rural area since the 1970/80s?
•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?
•Do you just what to give me some feedback on the topics we cover?
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