One rural future: the fall of the countryside

  • Demographics: older, whiter than suburban and urban America.
  • Economics: poorer. Agriculture obviously more important, and that increasingly operated at scale by large enterprises.
  • Technology: some use of advanced tech. Otherwise, relatively behind in infrastructure. Also, given an aging population, tending to be less likely to use digital tech than the rest of America. In some ways closer to tv than the web.
  • Politics: in rural areas, more conservative. Nationally, there’s a Republic sense that the heartland is precious, but not necessarily supported well by government policies. On the Democratic side, a sense that rural America is either irrelevant to strategy or is simply a lost cause.
  • Education: lower degree levels than suburban/urban America.
  • Environment: increasingly impacted by global climate change. That’s like the rest of the world, of course, but rural areas are more challenged in some ways. Their businesses depend more clearly on nature (think ag as well as tourism). Their politics currently tend towards rejecting anthropogenic climate change even exists, so local and even regional mitigation efforts are less likely to gain traction.




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Bryan Alexander

Bryan Alexander


Futurist, speaker, writer, consultant, educator. Author of the FTTE report and ACADEMIA NEXT. Creator of The Future Trends Forum.