Nonmetro Counties: Gains and Losses

Rural America lost population from 2010 to 2012. But each nonmetro county tells a different story. Find your county on the interactive map.

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We know that nonmetro America lost population for the first time since the federal government began keeping county-level population records (back in the 1960s).  

But that loss didn’t occur in every nonmetro county – not by a long shot. 

Here’s a look at county-by-county population change from 2010-2012 in nonmetro areas (definition of nonmetro counties).

One trend is obvious in the data. The smaller the county, the more likely it is to have lost population during the two-year period.  

Non-core counties (ones that have no cities larger than 10,000) had all the nonmetro population loss. Nonmetro counties with small cities (from 10,000 to fewer than 50,000) actually gained a little population for the period.

The population in micropolitan counties rose by about 49,000. The population in noncore counties decreased by 97,000.

Take a look at the map.

What are the numbers in your county? And why do you think they changed?

 

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