Report: Kansas rural population sees rapid decline

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new federal report says rural areas across the country are losing population at an unprecedented rate as both people and industries are concentrating in urban areas.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that “Rural America at a Glance” is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual report on employment, population and poverty trends in rural counties. The latest edition was released last week.

John Cromartie is a geographer with USDA’s Economic Research Service, which published the report. He says Great Plains and Corn Belt states like Kansas have seen rural population declines for decades. He says what’s new is rural population loss into the eastern U.S.

The report didn’t include data specific to counties or states. But it shows that population declines have become widespread throughout rural America since around 2010.