An analysis by Daily Yonder of EMSI’s county-level demographic data, based off numbers from the US Census Bureau, shows the overwhelming majority of rural counties have gotten older since 2000. But there are parts of rural America that are bucking the trend, and most are in the Great Plains, Mountain West, or scattered throughout Texas and Oklahoma.
The below map — compiled by Robert Gallardo, the author of the piece and a researcher at Mississippi State’s Southern Rural Development Center — shows the very clear aging trend in the last decade. But notice the pockets of green (counties where the proportion of residents 25 and under has increased), focused mostly in the central part of the country.
Gallardo notes that rural counties aren’t alone in aging — the percentage of 45-and-under population in urban and exurban counties has dropped as well. But as of 2009, rural counties had the lowest percentage of young people in the nation, 56.7% compared to 62.5% in urban counties.
Earlier this month, Gallardo also looked at changes in population among rural counties. While the US grew by 9.1% from 2000 to 2009, rural counties only saw a 2.9% bump in population.
If you know of a neat application of EMSI Data, like Daily Yonder’s, please let us know. We’d love to highlight it. You can reach Josh Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208.883.3500.