Diminishing US Rural Population – Impact could be Significant

population trendsAmerica used to be a country with the majority of its population in rural or farm areas but if the 2010 US census is of any indication, rural areas are in decline since the 1950s to such an extent that the municipalities there are in ever growing danger.

The danger is in regard to the loss in income and revenue to the rural areas as jobs have moved to the major metropolitan areas.  This trend has had several alarming changes in regard to the type of lifestyles the people left in the farm areas are engaged in.  For example, with less professionals in these areas the toll is taken on hospitals and other areas where professionals are in dire need.  The lower populations mean that state and federal resources dwindle as the tax base is so small that major support services are small or next to none.  Many major companies like airlines are no longer servicing the smaller airports resulting in drops in revenue to the point many will have to close down.  Take into account patrolling and maintenance of the regions. Without people around to trim the trees, mow the lawns, keep an eye on the wildlife, roads, and more, the integrity of the lifestyles there.

Now some would argue that things would be better with smaller municipalities because after all, the population of the US is 150% more than in the 1930s to 1950s.  There are still 100 million or more living in the rural areas almost the same number as in the old days but there are now 200 million or more living in and around the metropolitan areas.  As resources and demands for resources increase the call for more personnel will expand the metro areas far into the suburban areas thus expanding them to the point that more people may want to move further away from that inner city lifestyle and that means a push that might tax the resources of the government in other ways.

This ever changing trend is being monitored extensively by government and industry because to have so many Americans pooled up into such locations means that the level of administrative duties are going to be massive.  There may be a need to expand the number of mayors, sheriffs, city and county managers may call for larger staff members.  Law enforcement will need to have more containment areas and staff to quell any uprisings and civil unrest.  If a disaster like a flood or earthquake takes place the centralization of resources will have to depend on extreme professional care.  One error could lead to disaster as with that many people collected into one area, one person slipping on a banana peel could affect dozens.  That’s being facetious but it illustrates what happens when people bunch up like what is happening now.

The agriculture industry has become so modernized that people aren’t needed for the jobs that used to be around.  Machines, automation, even robots now do the jobs of hundreds of people per device.  The big cities need the manpower, they need the secretaries, repair, law enforcement, medical care, and of course the administrative jobs and support such as mayors, city managers, and their staff.  As more tax dollars are needed to support the demand the tax revenue may increase causing a shift in allocation of these reserves.

Schools and educational facilities are feeling the change of this trend as inner city schools and suburban schools swell increasing the demand for teachers and facilities.  Colleges and schools in the rural areas are losing students and professionals and some have gone to great lengths to offer perks and drops in tuition costs so that they can attract more younger people.

All in all, this change in population trends is something that is going to be of major concern for decades to come.

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Posted by on Aug 2 2011. Filed under Featured, New. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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