The Wall Street Journal has dubbed rural America as the new “inner city,” riddled with low income, sparse access to healthcare, crime, and drugs. A special analysis by the publication says data reveals that sparsely populated counties have replaced large cities as America’s most troubled areas by key measures of socioeconomic well-being. The shift began in the 1990s and continues at an accelerating pace. The analysis says rural America now faces higher teen births and divorce rates than urban areas, and education and employment gaps have widened at a faster pace than other areas. The data also says rural areas have become less healthy than America’s cities. In 1980, rural areas had lower rates of heart disease and cancer. By 2014, the opposite was true. The publication says rural America is also getting close to the milestone at which more people are dying than are being born.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.