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According to the United States’ original 1950 urban classifications, rural America is crushing it. It’s home to about as many people as urban America, and it’s growing faster. So why do headlines and statistics paint rural areas as perpetually in decline?
Because the contest between rural and urban America is rigged. Official definitions are regularly updated in such a way that rural counties are continually losing their most successful places to urbanization. When a rural county grows, it transmutes into an urban one.