ERIC Number: ED459040
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
The 2000 Census and Growth Patterns in Rural America. The Main Street Economist: Commentary on the Rural Economy.
The 2000 Census reveals four patterns of change in rural America. Rural areas in states such as Florida and Arizona are gaining population due to high retiree growth. These areas will experience growth in service sector jobs that have low pay and low educational requirements. Florida and Arizona trail the nation in high school and college graduation rates. States with high retiree growth must balance growth in the service sector with other sectors to maintain high standards of living. Colorado and Washington are typical of states with rural increases in working-age people. Young workers sustain a strong tax base, but their children place demands on schools, which in rural areas may have been losing students. Illinois and Minnesota are good examples of states with dual economies. Rural counties around metro areas experience growth, while others lose population. Policymakers face a dilemma: do they support continued growth of the cities or try to bolster rural growth? States respond to the dual economy problem in different ways, but these states seem determined to prosper without leaving rural places behind. "Rural exodus" states are exemplified by Kansas and North Dakota, where populations are shrinking in most rural counties. Education may be strong in these states, but many good students and entrepreneurs leave their rural hometowns. The lack of entrepreneurial innovation and leadership in these areas makes future economic growth problematic, and the diminishing population results in an eroding tax base that strains public services. (TD)
Descriptors: Census Figures, Demography, Economic Development, Education Work Relationship, Elementary Secondary Education, Futures (of Society), Higher Education, Living Standards, Migration Patterns, Population Trends, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Rural Population
For full text: http://www.kc.frb.org/RuralCenter/mainstreet/MainStMain.htm.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, MO. Center for the Study of Rural America.