Cornhusker Economics

Steps to Become a Welcoming Community

April 7, 2021

Declining rural populations have been making the news for decades. There is little doubt that the trend line of the most rural counties across the country has been down (2020, Cromartie). Nearly 35 percent of the rural counties within the United States have experienced prolonged and significant population loss (Johnson & Lichter, 2019).

Just because some rural areas are declining does not mean that all areas are declining or are destined to decline. Rural population gains are often seen in high amenity counties that support both tourism and early retiree relocation and in counties that are located just beyond metropolitan borders. But those are not the only places where gains are being made. Rural areas across the nation are becoming more culturally diverse with “racial and ethnic minorities accounting for 83 percent of rural population growth between 2000 and 2010” (Johnson, 2012).

Added to these national trends is the new large-scale experience of remote work that developed as a result of the 2020 pandemic. Those experiences may have blurred the lines between home and work, both for the employer and employee. The implications of remote work on a larger societal scale are still unknown for rural areas but the possibilities of living and working anywhere are intriguing.

Read More>


Past Issues


2021 Cornhusker Economics

2020 Cornhusker Economics