American cities are getting richer. Rural areas are getting left behind

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Joe Ogiba
Joe Ogiba Veteran Member • Posts: 4,627
American cities are getting richer. Rural areas are getting left behind

The latest Census Bureau data on income and poverty has good news for almost everyone. It shows the first significant growth in average household incomes in almost a decade — 5.4 percent between 2014 and 2015 — with all races, age groups, and regions of the country enjoying gains.

But one group that didn’t have a lot to celebrate from the new numbers were people in rural areas:

The census counted more than 20 million households as being located outside any metropolitan area — that is, in rural America. And it found that these households saw their incomes drop by 2 percent between 2014 and 2015: from $45,534 to $44,657.

There were 63 million households inside metropolitan areas but outside the area’s principal city — that is, in the suburbs. These households enjoyed healthy income growth of 4 percent, from an already high $61,671 to $64,144.

But the biggest gains accrued to the 41 million households located in the principal city of a metropolitan area. They saw their incomes grow an impressive 7.3 percent. Their incomes went from $47,095 to $51,378.

In short, this is proving to be a fundamentally urban economic recovery. Cities are gaining income faster than their suburbs, which in turn are doing better than rural areas. And while suburban households still earn more, on average, than urban households, city-dwellers are closing the gap.

The latest census numbers confirm a trend that I’ve reported on before: The current recovery is seeing big cities reap the largest economic gains. That was a big change from the economic boom of the 1990s, which saw less populous areas gaining more.

In the past, smaller counties tended to grow faster than larger counties. This made a certain amount of sense — large counties like Los Angeles or Dallas were already expensive and crowded places to live, so it was easier for economic growth to happen in smaller towns or outlying suburbs.

But in the latest recovery, the pattern has reversed. The largest counties saw the fastest growth in jobs, with Los Angeles County, Miami-Dade County, and Kings County (Brooklyn) leading the way. Meanwhile, the least populous counties have been suffering the weakest recovery in decades.

To be clear, this chart isn’t directly comparable to the new census numbers, since it shows gains in jobs rather than incomes. And it breaks regions of the country down somewhat differently — based on county populations rather than whether a region is a principal city, suburb, or rural area.

But both charts show the same clear pattern: Economic gains are flowing disproportionately to urban areas, while less populous areas are getting left behind.

The Red states are the rural states and that is were the Trump supporters live.

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Softcorners Regular Member • Posts: 391
Re: American cities are getting richer. Rural areas are getting left behind

Well, government must do something to artificially redistribute this. Someone must pay for this insolence!

riveredger Senior Member • Posts: 2,138
Re: American cities are getting richer. Rural areas are getting left behind
1

Joe Ogiba wrote:

The latest Census Bureau data on income and poverty has good news for almost everyone. It shows the first significant growth in average household incomes in almost a decade — 5.4 percent between 2014 and 2015 — with all races, age groups, and regions of the country enjoying gains.

But one group that didn’t have a lot to celebrate from the new numbers were people in rural areas:

The census counted more than 20 million households as being located outside any metropolitan area — that is, in rural America. And it found that these households saw their incomes drop by 2 percent between 2014 and 2015: from $45,534 to $44,657.

There were 63 million households inside metropolitan areas but outside the area’s principal city — that is, in the suburbs. These households enjoyed healthy income growth of 4 percent, from an already high $61,671 to $64,144.

But the biggest gains accrued to the 41 million households located in the principal city of a metropolitan area. They saw their incomes grow an impressive 7.3 percent. Their incomes went from $47,095 to $51,378.

In short, this is proving to be a fundamentally urban economic recovery. Cities are gaining income faster than their suburbs, which in turn are doing better than rural areas. And while suburban households still earn more, on average, than urban households, city-dwellers are closing the gap.

The latest census numbers confirm a trend that I’ve reported on before: The current recovery is seeing big cities reap the largest economic gains. That was a big change from the economic boom of the 1990s, which saw less populous areas gaining more.

In the past, smaller counties tended to grow faster than larger counties. This made a certain amount of sense — large counties like Los Angeles or Dallas were already expensive and crowded places to live, so it was easier for economic growth to happen in smaller towns or outlying suburbs.

But in the latest recovery, the pattern has reversed. The largest counties saw the fastest growth in jobs, with Los Angeles County, Miami-Dade County, and Kings County (Brooklyn) leading the way. Meanwhile, the least populous counties have been suffering the weakest recovery in decades.

To be clear, this chart isn’t directly comparable to the new census numbers, since it shows gains in jobs rather than incomes. And it breaks regions of the country down somewhat differently — based on county populations rather than whether a region is a principal city, suburb, or rural area.

But both charts show the same clear pattern: Economic gains are flowing disproportionately to urban areas, while less populous areas are getting left behind.

The Red states are the rural states and that is were the Trump supporters live.

Economic gains don't "flow."  They are earned.

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TrapperJohn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,279
We're wealthy in ways you can't see
1

As a resident in an old growth hardwood forest, I just spent half an hour outside enjoying the moon and listening to the screech owls chatting with each other. Could make out the milky way in the clear night sky. And, the solitude - no cars, no sirens, no lights flashing, just the deep forest and me. Tomorrow morning, I'll hear the songbirds chirping... and nothing else.

My car sits in the yard, unlocked. No point in locking it, there's no one to steal anything. We're about to get autumn colors in the forest - a beautiful sight. And after a good snow - the dense forest becomes surreal, a B/W portrait, with snow clinging to the branches.

No one to tell us what we can and can't do, for the most part. Way out in the country, we don't have neighborhood associations.  I suppose I live in a gated community, the gate at the end of my driveway, but I never close it. If I don't mow the yard for a couple of weeks - so what? No parking problems here, my front yard is about six acres. Crime? Extremely rare. The worst I've had is the odd deer poacher, and after the game warden nailed enough of them, they went somewhere else.

One can argue that we are missing opportunities found in big cities. Outside of fine dining, there isn't much you have that we can't order and have delivered. Our peace and quiet... you can't have that delivered in a big city.

Some of you pay thousands of dollars to get this for a week. We get it every day, for free. On the average, we live longer than urban residents, about six or seven years more. I suspect the tranquility and relaxed pace are two reasons why.

If you urban dwellers want to give us tax breaks to address the 'income inequality', we'll sure take them.

The reality is - we're rich in ways that can't be found on a bank statement.

stevenbrantley
stevenbrantley Regular Member • Posts: 496
Re: American cities are getting richer. Rural areas are getting left behind
1

Same thing is happening all over the developed world - Japan, USA, Britain, etc. People move off the rural farm land and into the cities. Birth rates drop, population ages, and you have growing income (and education, health care, food insufficiency) disparities.

Joe said: "The Red states are the rural states and that is were the Trump supporters live."

That is an extreme generalization and denies the fact that people are flooding out of the high cost, crime ridden, winter sucking northeastern and midwest rust belt states, and to the southeast US, Texas, Florida and so on.  That is the dynamic region of America's new economy.  It is overwhelming conservative, GOP dominated, and full of Trump supporters.

Joe, where do you live?

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