Smallest Counties Lose Population — Again
The nation’s most rural counties lost population as a group in the latest population estimates – for the fourth straight year. While metropolitan areas and counties with small cities have gained about 1% this decade, “noncore” counties – with no cities of 10,000 residents and up – have dropped by half a percent.
[imgcontainer][img:pop_map_2013-2014.png][source]U.S. Census Data via ERSThe map shows winners and losers in rural population from 2013 to 2014. Red denotes nonmetropolitan counties that lost population. Green denotes nonmetropolitan counties that grained population. Clear counties are metropolitan. Click on any county (including metropolitan ones) for population figures from 2010 to 2014.
For the fourth year in a row, rural America has lost population, according to new U.S. Census data.
As in previous years, the population loss was concentrated in the nation’s smallest rural counties. These "noncore" counties don't have a city larger than 9,999 residents.
A chart from the USDA Economic Research Service (below) shows the trend. Note that the chart is the rate of population change, not overall population.
Nonmetropolitan population is traced in the red line. It falls into the negative territory below the horizontal line beginning in 2011. That’s when nonmetropolitan counties started seeing a net loss in population.