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As America Grows, Much of the Country is Past Its Population Peak

Washington Post

The late 19th and early 20th centuries were good times for the High Plains. Back then, much of the rural plains was growing rapidly. But, as The Washington Post reports, much of America’s rural farm country has been depopulating for a very long time. In fact, more than half of the counties in the nation are in population decline. That means their peaks are long behind them.

These days, suburbs and some urban centers are booming. But today, a quarter of today’s Americans live in declining places. And it’s not just farm communities that are on a downward slide. Baltimore, St. Louis and Philadelphia are all below their historical population peaks.

Still, it’s important to keep in mind that past population loss doesn't necessarily imply future population loss. As the Post put it: “A place that peaked historically could still peak again.”