Long-term trends in rural depopulation and their implications for community banks
Posted: 8/26/2014 |
When the FDIC conducted the prior study in 2004, continued depopulation of much of America’s rural areas seemed to be inevitable, as many of these areas, particularly in the Great Plains, were caught in a slow, self-reinforcing circle of decline. Population trends have, in fact, worsened since 2000: Not only are depopulation trends now covering more of the country than they did in 2000, but also in many areas the depopulation is accelerating.
Despite these adverse trends, as of early 2014 there are a few favorable developments affecting population flows in pockets of rural America. Most significant is the advent of the energy extraction of shale oil and natural gas in parts of the rural depopulating Great Plains and Appalachia -This exploration activity requires significant manpower, and some of these areas have seen large increases in population. On a much smaller scale, positive population trends may be developing in some areas.
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