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 US Department of Agriculture Looking to Jobs For Rural Communities in Population Decline

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Registration date : 2008-05-15

PostSubject: US Department of Agriculture Looking to Jobs For Rural Communities in Population Decline   Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:41 pm

I could not help but notice that the Ortonville Economic Development made a last ditch attempt to prove to the public that we need to continue to build homes to improve its economic prowess.

Unfortunately reliance on poorly interpreted studies continues to plague the reasoning of Ortonville EDA.

In fact a study conducted with sound economic credentials completed by the United States Department of Agriculture said,

“The biggest population declines are in the rural Midwest, Upper Great Plains, and Mississippi Delta region, including New Orleans. . .

A key policy issue for areas with declining populations is how to attract and retain residents—and businesses—in their communities. Many rural communities, particularly in the Midwest, have been losing population for decades and are on the brink of extinction.

The Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture attributes population loss in rural areas to declines in farming and other rural industries, high poverty rates, lack of services, and—in some areas—a lack of natural amenities such as warm winters, forests, or lakes.2 The fact that most out-migrants are of reproductive age compounds the problem, because it means that fewer babies are being born to replace the aging population. Of the 1,346 counties that shrank in population between 2000 and 2007, 85 percent are located outside of metropolitan areas,3 and 59 percent rely heavily on farming, manufacturing, or mining.4

During the 1990s, rural areas benefited from steady growth in employment, income, and tax revenue, and the rural population rebounded.5 But just as the strong economy during the 1990s created new opportunities for people to live and work in rural areas, the weak economy since 2000 may be pushing people back to metropolitan areas to find jobs with decent wages.”

I would encourage all to read this article because it demonstrates that current trends of building more homes are not the answer to economic growth.

http://www.prb.org/Articles/2008/populationlosses.aspx
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