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THE CONTINUED DECLINE OF RURAL AMERICA

December 11, 2014

I work primarily in rural Oregon. Most of my clients are in small towns outside of major metro areas like Portland. I am usual working hard to find more local customers for them. It is no secret that the recovery has not moved to small towns and businesses outside of metropolitan America.

Here are the research numbers behind the small market challenge: Between 2012 and 2013, the number of adults aged 16 or older in non-metropolitan areas declined, perhaps for the first time ever, according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service.

According to the American Consumers Newsletter, this loss is the result of two trends: a decline in the rate of natural population increase in non-metro areas (births minus deaths) and a decline in net migration (people moving in minus people moving out), which has been negative since 2010.

Why are people moving out of non-metro areas? Probably to find a job. According to the researchers, “non-metro employment growth slowed in 2011 and fell to zero or slightly below thereafter.”

So creating more jobs is not only the key to small town America improving, it is also the key in finding more people that can afford your goods and services. 

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