Ghost Towns On the Increase As Rural America Accounts For Only 16% of Population

I hate to say that I saw this coming, but I really feel as if I did. I grew up in North Carolina, in a small town named Clayton. By high school graduation, I not only knew that I had to pursue better opportunities up north, but I was convinced that for many people, especially immigrants like my parents and the increasing group of workers in non-traditional industries. Sometimes rural America, despite its charm, seems stuck in stasis, which can make it very hard for those of us who want to pursue directions beyond the auspices of our locational past. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to this trend (like everything else)— much is being lost but much is being gained too. Read the excerpt and tell me what you think.


[Via Daily Mail] Vast swathes of the U.S. countryside are emptying and communities becoming ghost towns as rural America now only accounts for just 16 per cent of the population.

The 2010 census results suggest that by 2050 many of these areas could shrink to virtually nothing as businesses collapse and schools close.

This dramatic population implosion is the culmination of a century of migration to cities, as in 1910 the share of rural America was at 72 per cent.

In 1950 the countryside remained home to a majority of Americans, amid post-World War II economic expansion and the baby boom.

However, once busy areas have been abandoned, in South Dakota for example, the town of Scenic is up for sale for $799,000 as today just eight people live there.


Overall the share of people in rural areas over the past decade fell to 16 percent, passing the previous low of 20 percent in 2000, and is expected to drop further because of the economic crisis. 

But in contrast American cities are booming and will continue to swallow suburban communities, producing a virtual mega-city stretching through Boston, Massachusetts, through New York City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Maryland and ending in the capital Washington, D.C.

'Many rural areas can't attract workers because there aren't any jobs, and businesses won't relocate there because there aren't enough qualified workers. So they are caught in a downward spiral.'

The rural share is expected to drop further as the U.S. population balloons from 309 million to 400 million by 2050, leading even more people to crowd cities and suburbs and fill in the land around them.

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