|Yonder graphic: non-metro population change 2012-16|
Johnson told the Yonder, "To me, that’s the biggest news about rural America. It's still losing people, but it’s increasingly because of what’s going on in the remote rural counties. If it’s re-emerging, that could mean the larger population trend of modest growth from rural counties will return as well."
The overall rural population decline was small, a total of 21,000 residents, or 0.05 percent, the smallest drop in the five years, the Yonder reports. "The net change is so small that it could be reversed by adjustments in the estimates that occur in future years." (Yonder map: Population change from 2015-16)