The Conversation: Dwindling population and disappearing jobs is the fate that awaits much of rural America

Since the Great Recession, most of the nation’s rural counties have struggled to recover lost jobs and retain people. The story is markedly different in the nation’s largest urban communities.

I’m writing from Iowa, where every four years presidential hopefuls swoop in to test how voters might respond to their various ideas for fixing the country’s problems.

But what to do about rural economic and persistent population decline is the one area that has always confounded them all.

The facts are clear and unarguable. Most of the nation’s smaller urban and rural counties are not growing and will not grow.

Let’s start with my analysis of U.S.

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