Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rural America getting older, with some exceptions

Rural America has been getting older faster than its urban and exurban neighbors since 2000, but a few rural regions have experienced growth in their under-25 populations. "The percentage of the population that was under 25 dropped in urban, rural and exurban America," Roberto Gallardo reports for the Daily Yonder, but notes counties in West Texas, the Panhandle and Oklahoma as well as isolated counties in the Mountain West actually increased their young population. (Yonder map by Gallardo; click on image for larger version)

With the exception of several Great Plains and Central Texas counties most of rural America increased its share of population over 65 during the 2000s. "Rural America has a larger percentage of its population over 45 than either urban or exurban counties," Gallardo writes. "Urban counties had the smallest increase in this population." In 2000 61.7 percent of rural Americans were under 45, compared to just 56.7 percent in 2009. Conversely urban areas had the largest share of under-45 population at 66.6 percent in 2000 and 62.5 percent in 2009 and experienced the smallest decrease. (Read more)

The data from West Texas and the Panhandle may help explain why there was such a good turnout at the 100th anniversary meeting of the Panhandle Press Association, which covers part of West Texas, in April. Perhaps more explanatory than the presence of a certain speaker (blush). Or maybe it was Bill Bishop of the Yonder! --Al Cross

1 comment:

Julianne Couch said...

I can tell you the reason Albany County, in southern Wyoming, has increased its population. That's where Laramie is located, the home of the only university in the state. UW's enrollment is going up all the time, thanks in part to students in neighboring states, like Colorado, paying more for going to school in their own states than they pay out of state in Wyoming.