Stories

Why rural counties are dying in America

Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Rural counties — particularly in the Midwest and Northeast of the U.S. — are losing people due to higher death rates than birth rates and more people moving away than moving in.

The outlook: The 2020 census is likely to show the extent of this drastic trend. "Barring a significant reversal in the next few years," Richard Fry of the Pew Research Center tells Axios, "the share of the population living in rural counties will be less than it was in 2010 ... Rural clout in Congress and the electoral college will be diminished."