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HPPR Economy and Enterprise

New Study Shows Rural America on the Road to Recovery

Scott Olson
Getty Images

Things are looking up in the heartland.

A new USDA study reports that some of the employment and population declines that have plagued rural America in past year have recently turned a corner.

According to U.S. News and World Report, rural unemployment has now fallen close to levels last seen before the Great Recession. In 2010 rural unemployment hovered near 10 percent. It’s now been almost cut in half, falling to levels it hasn’t seen in almost ten years.

Perhaps most startling is the study’s finding that rural America's population has stopped declining--at least for now. The study found that America’s rural population declined from 2010 to 2014, before leveling out in 2015.

The mixture of growing employment with a stabilizing population can only mean good news for the High Plains.

This year’s election painted a stark picture of an ailing and moribund middle America. This study makes it clear that rural America still has some fight left in her.