The fastest population growth in the United States took place in the exurbs, the in-between counties that aren't urban yet but aren't fully rural either.

"> Rural Population Grows 2000-2007, But Slower Than National Average - Daily Yonder

Rural Population Grows 2000-2007, But Slower Than National Average

The fastest population growth in the United States took place in the exurbs, the in-between counties that aren't urban yet but aren't fully rural either.

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This map shows the gain and loss of population in rural counties due to domestic migration. Yellow counties had more people move to cities than moved in. Red and blue counties had more people move in from cities than left.

The population in rural counties increased 2.4 percent from 2000 to 2007, one-third the growth rate of the entire United States (7.2%). The fastest growth rates in the country during this period, according to U.S. Census figures, were in the nation's exurban regions.

Thirteen states lost rural population from 2000 to 2007. The group of states losing rural population were concentrated in the Great Plains. The 13 states that lost population were Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, North Dakota, Nebraska, West Virginia, New York, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Dakota, Indiana, New Mexico and Alaska.

The states with the largest increases in numbers of rural residents were primarily clustered in the Southeast. Florida and North Carolina each added 148,000 rural residents from 2000 to 2007. Georgia had an increase of 124,000 rural residents.

(For a full listing of states and their change in rural population during the first seven years of this century, see the bottom of this story.)

Only two states lost population overall during this seven year period — Louisiana and North Dakota. Louisiana saw its population drop more than 175,000 from 2000 to 2007, largely as a result of Hurricane Katrina, which struck the state in 2005. All of those losses came from metropolitan areas of the state. Both rural and exurban parts of Louisiana gained people.

Only two states lost urban population — Louisiana and West Virginia. (Urban counties would include both central cities and inner suburbs.) Nationally, urban population increased 7.2%.

And no state lost population in exurban counties. (These are counties that are close to cities, but have some rural characteristics.) The growth rate in exurban America was nearly 11% in this 7-year stretch, more than four times the growth rate for rural counties.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service found from July 2005 to July 2006, rural counties grew because of an increase in domestic migration. More people were moving into rural counties from metro areas than were going the other direction. Most of that migration into rural areas in that year took place in the West, the Texas Hill Country, Florida and Northern Virginia. (See map above.) Farming areas continued to see a loss of population due to migration.

Below are the 48 states ranked by their increase in rural population from 2000 to 2007. (Rhode Island and New Jersey have no rural counties.)

Rural Pop Change Rank

State

Percent Change 2000-07

Total Change 2000-07

1

Florida

14.7%

148,573

2

North Carolina

5.8%

148,527

3

Georgia

7.5%

124,339

4

Tennessee

5.1%

80,057

5

Arizona

11.9%

70,450

6

Texas

2.4%

70,124

7

Washington

7.8%

57,668

8

Colorado

7.6%

47,771

9

South Carolina

4.2%

42,921

10

Hawaii

12.6%

42,406

11

Kentucky

2.4%

42,379

12

Missouri

2.5%

37,629

13

California

4.7%

37,582

14

Virginia

3.5%

37,104

15

Nevada

16.2%

36,688

16

Montana

5.7%

33,647

17

Oregon

4.0%

32,413

18

Idaho

6.6%

32,222

19

Wisconsin

2.0%

30,426

20

New Hampshire

6.5%

30,049

21

Utah

10.6%

27,888

22

Delaware

17.7%

27,653

23

Maryland

8.8%

24,260

24

Minnesota

1.6%

22,728

25

Oklahoma

1.6%

20,398

26

Pennsylvania

1.0%

19,767

27

Wyoming

5.5%

19,085

28

Michigan

0.9%

17,164

29

Alabama

1.1%

14,630

30

Connecticut

4.8%

14,027

31

Maine

1.8%

9,863

32

Louisiana

0.5%

5,243

33

Ohio

0.2%

5,224

34

Vermont

1.0%

3,955

35

Massachusetts

6.2%

1,509

36

Alaska

-0.3%

-778

37

New Mexico

-0.1%

-1,000

38

Indiana

-0.4%

-5,410

39

South Dakota

-1.7%

-7,537

40

Arkansas

-0.8%

-9,348

41

Mississippi

-0.6%

-10,521

42

New York

-0.8%

-13,145

43

West Virginia

-2.1%

-17,113

44

Nebraska

-3.0%

-22,855

45

North Dakota

-7.3%

-26,326

46

Kansas

-3.4%

-35,719

47

Illinois

-2.2%

-36,882

48

Iowa

-3.4%

-46,519

Here is the ranking of the states according to the change in exurban population from 2000 to 2002. Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii and Wyoming have no exurban counties.

 

Exurban Pop Change Rank

State

Percent Change 2000-07

Total Change 2000-07

1

Texas

19.6%

410,569

2

Georgia

22.2%

291,956

3

North Carolina

13.7%

211,922

4

Arizona

37.9%

175,767

5

Virginia

12.6%

158,043

6

Arkansas

15.9%

119,091

7

South Carolina

8.5%

104,701

8

Missouri

11.1%

99,165

9

Alabama

8.2%

97,202

10

Tennessee

10.6%

94,219

11

Minnesota

11.7%

83,598

12

Kentucky

10.4%

77,156

13

Mississippi

11.4%

58,915

14

Michigan

5.5%

56,936

15

Wisconsin

7.4%

52,523

16

Oregon

27.7%

44,097

17

California

15.3%

42,794

18

Ohio

3.7%

42,043

19

Maryland

15.1%

40,919

20

Oklahoma

7.7%

40,023

21

West Virginia

7.7%

33,675

22

Indiana

3.9%

32,796

23

Louisiana

6.4%

30,208

24

Florida

15.6%

27,375

25

Iowa

10.1%

24,127

26

New Jersey

5.5%

23,702

27

Pennsylvania

2.0%

23,356

28

Alaska

38.0%

23,292

29

Maine

4.8%

22,659

30

Illinois

4.5%

16,115

31

South Dakota

18.8%

14,201

32

New Hampshire

8.3%

9,348

33

Utah

18.6%

8,399

34

New Mexico

6.4%

8,313

35

New York

0.8%

8,278

36

Idaho

10.1%

7,123

37

Colorado

9.5%

6,566

38

Kansas

2.9%

6,167

39

Washington

6.8%

5,228

40

Vermont

6.1%

3,217

41

Nebraska

3.2%

2,738

42

Nevada

23.4%

794

43

North Dakota

2.5%

623

44

Montana

1.8%

169

45

Massachusetts

0.1%

67

This final list shows the change in urban population from 2000 to 2007 by state. The list includes Washington, D.C.

 

Urban Pop Change Rank

State

Percent Change 2000-07

Total Change 2000-07

1

California

7.9%

2,601,191

2

Texas

16.2%

2,571,867

3

Florida

14.1%

2,092,917

4

Arizona

23.6%

961,906

5

Georgia

18.1%

942,002

6

North Carolina

16.5%

651,270

7

Nevada

30.0%

529,643

8

Washington

10.1%

511,407

9

Colorado

14.0%

505,917

10

Illinois

4.4%

454,022

11

Virginia

9.3%

442,718

12

Utah

19.5%

375,874

13

New York

2.0%

326,139

14

Tennessee

9.1%

293,160

15

Maryland

5.4%

256,679

16

Oregon

10.1%

249,546

17

South Carolina

14.0%

248,075

18

New Jersey

3.1%

247,868

19

Indiana

6.2%

237,418

20

Minnesota

6.1%

171,816

21

Idaho

22.6%

166,104

22

Wisconsin

4.9%

155,016

23

Missouri

4.6%

146,410

24

New Mexico

14.1%

143,556

25

Kansas

8.2%

117,131

26

Pennsylvania

1.2%

108,615

27

Oklahoma

6.5%

106,241

28

Massachusetts

1.6%

99,082

29

Iowa

6.3%

84,114

30

Nebraska

9.7%

83,425

31

Connecticut

2.7%

82,717

32

Kentucky

5.2%

80,170

33

Alabama

3.5%

68,919

34

Ohio

0.8%

66,510

35

Michigan

0.8%

59,278

36

Delaware

8.5%

53,511

37

Arkansas

6.7%

51,654

38

New Hampshire

6.2%

40,645

39

South Dakota

14.7%

34,706

40

Alaska

9.9%

34,032

41

Hawaii

3.4%

29,445

42

Mississippi

3.8%

25,733

43

North Dakota

9.0%

23,218

44

Montana

7.2%

21,850

45

District of Columbia

2.8%

16,233

46

Wyoming

6.7%

9,963

47

Maine

3.7%

9,762

48

Rhode Island

0.9%

9,513

49

Vermont

3.6%

5,255

50

West Virginia

-2.4%

-12,871

51

Louisiana

-7.4%

-211,223

 

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