Knowing what is true about rural places and people is a challenge. Too often, people lump all of rural America into one “flyover-country” stereotype. But saying that all of rural America is the same is like saying Detroit and San Francisco are the same, or Birmingham and Boston. This brief shares a few truths worth knowing about rural America.
- 19.3% of the US Population lives in rural America, about 60 million people.
- The number of people living in rural America increased 11% from 1970- 2010.
- Agriculture employs less than 5% of the rural workforce.
- People of color comprised 83% of rural population growth, 2000 – 2010.
- In 2017, the rural poverty rate stood at 16.4% compared to urban at 12.9%.
- For children, the rural poverty rate was 22.8%, more than five points higher than urban at 17.7%.