In Colorado, some schools have switched to online, and North Dakota and Michigan have switched to gravel roads. Nebraska is accepting applications for enterprise zones, which are designed to promote new businesses in areas with population decline and high poverty and unemployment rates. In 2011, Kansas began offering incentives—such as state income tax breaks and student loan partial repayment—for those who moved to rural counties with population losses, Henderson writes.
Some people are skeptical about Kansas's strategy. The program "may help a few families here and there, which is of course very important for those people and can give positive examples to some communities," said Laszlo Kulcsar, a demographer at Kansas State University. "But we have to remember that it was designed to counter long-term depopulation, in which is it terribly ineffective." (Read more)