Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Most Nonmetro Counties Are Losing Population

Two-thirds of the nation's nonmetropolitan counties lost population between 2010 and 2014, according to the USDA's Economic Research Service. The number of nonmetro counties with declining populations reached an historic high of 1,310 in the 2010-14 time period.

Population decline is caused by two factors: more people moving out than in, and more deaths than births. The number of nonmetro counties experiencing the "double jeopardy" of net-outmigration and natural decrease climbed from 387 in 2003-07 to 622 in 2010-14.

According to a Demo Memo analysis of population growth by metropolitan status, the nation's largest metropolitan areas, with a population of 1 million or more, grew 4.2 percent between 2010 and 2014. Smaller metropolitan areas grew 2.7 percent. Nonmetropolitan counties as a whole lost 0.2 percent of their population during those years.

Source: USDA Economic Research Service, Two-Thirds of U.S. Nonmetro Counties Lost Population over 2010-14

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