On what could be the last newspaper ever delivered to my door (because I don’t believe any newspaper offers door delivery where I’m moving) the front of the local section has a huge Associated Press article by Hope Yen titled “THE DECLINE OF SMALL TOWN AMERICA”.
How thought provoking to read on the day before I move to rural America that “The latest 2010 census numbers hint at an emerging America where, by mid-century, city boundaries become indistinct and rural areas grow ever less relevant. Many communities could shrink to virtual ghost towns as they shutter businesses and close down schools, demographers say.” I’m sure one might not think of us as “less relevant” if farmers stopped producing food.
Brad’s thoughts on this, “We’re certainly not going with the trend.” and “We’re still relevant in God’s eyes and to all the people who like to eat.”
What a thought that I’m part of only 16% of Americans living in “rural” America. Consider that ““Rural” is generally defined as nonmetropolitan areas with fewer than 50,000 people.” If that’s rural, what do they call a town with a population of less than 200? Our entire county doesn’t even have close to 10,000 people. I guess they must think of us as extremely “less relevant.”
Our county population decreased 10-20% in the last 30 years. If a town of less than 150 loses 15% that puts it at less than 125. Does that really make a difference in it’s sustainability?
I may not be excited about moving to a small town, but I don’t wish for it to be turned into a ghost town, or do they already consider towns with less than 200 and no grocery store ghost towns? At the same time, right now to help me adjust I try not to think that I could be living in this same place in 30 or 40+ years from now. I’m might be living there blissfully by then, but while I need to I’m going to continue in the denial phase of grief and think that I might get to move back to a metropolitan area someday. I guess thoughts like that don’t really help the declining rural population, huh?