More than 20 percent of the U.S. population — nearly 60 million Americans — live in rural areas. These rural communities are often historic, resilient and thriving. Even though they are often less affluent than urban centers, they are not backwaters or ghost towns as some would have you believe.
This recent article from the Washington Post struck a nerve. While the author initially wrote this Midwestern county off as “the worst place to live in America,” the writer backtracked when he visited the county seat. Kudos to the the writer for actually getting out from behind his desk and visiting the location to write about it.
The 11-county Columbus Region has many rural areas within one hour of the the urban center of Columbus (get to know our counties here). Rural places contribute greatly to Central Ohio’s strength and diversity. Not only are rural communities some of the most idealistic places to live, but their economies are changing. The services and retail sectors are growing in many rural communities, and manufacturing continues to be a large contributor to the local tax base and wage growth. Agriculture, while not the wealth generator that it once was, is adapting to new technologies and the farm to table movement taking place across the country. This White House report on the state of rural America provides a great snapshot.
One Columbus Update
- This week, the One Columbus team will continue a two week business development mission in Japan with state and local partners, and will attend the 2015 Japan-Midwest U.S. Association Conference in Tokyo.