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Rural America Still Struggling Post-Recession

Americans living in rural areas are struggling more than their urban counterparts seven years after the start of the Great Recession.

A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture paints a pretty bleak picture. Rural counties across the country have lost population at a faster pace than birth rates. The few rural areas that saw population increases are in booming Great Plains oil fields or along scenic mountain ranges. The report notes young people are fleeing communities dependent on farming and manufacturing.

While unemployment rates have dropped in rural America, poverty rates have risen steadily since 2007. One in four rural children are living in poverty. In trying to find a silver lining in the new data, USDA secretary Tom Vilsack says the most stagnant areas are primed for investment.