Rural Lifestyle Market

Goals

To find information that will facilitate a better understanding of the rural American market. Information to be presented to include whether the market is growing or shrinking, the economic impact of this demographic, what the market will look like as Boomers grow older, whether millennials will have the same affinity for living in rural areas, and what rural America will look like in the future.

Early Findings

  • Rural communities in the United States account for a significant portion of the population and economy i.e. approximately one-fifth of Americans or around 65 million (calculated using 2018 American population) people live in rural areas and 10% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) or around $1.939 trillion (calculated using 2018 American GDP) is generated in non-metropolitan counties.
  • Additionally, the rural areas are key sources of water, food, energy, and recreation for all Americans.
  • Rural areas account for 97% of the land mass of the United States. Consequently, rural areas are home to a large portion of the country’s vital natural resources.
  • The major industries in rural America are agriculture, manufacturing, and mining sectors. However, many rural areas "have economies that are not based on these industries and do not have natural resources such as arable land or mineral deposits to participate in these industries or obtain a comparative advantage."
  • The agricultural sector has been identified as uniquely rural because this sector accounts for 17% of employment in highly rural and remote areas.
  • Economies that depend on agriculture are largely located in the heartland i.e. from the northern U.S. border through Montana and Nebraska and into northern Texas.
  • A map of the counties where the primary industry is agriculture, manufacturing, or mining can be accessed on this website.
  • The median age of rural America is 43 years, a figure that is 7 years older than city dwellers.

Proposed next steps:

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