When looking at the geographical makeup of America, one of the things that is constantly mentioned is the difference between rural and urban America. The differences between rural and urban cities can be complex, but some economists and geographers have tried to explain this perceived divide by looking at some data.

Job Growth

Stats have shown that job growth in rural areas has stagnated. A lot of these communities have not fully recovered from the damage that the economic recession caused. These troubling statistics are an example of why many people who reside in these areas are upset. Factors such as environmental regulations have led to the decline of resources in rural areas, taking away many jobs. The majority of new jobs in rural areas are created through customer service. Many residents in these rural communities are concerned about their future.



While there has been increased talk about the rising amount of poverty in urban areas, poverty continues to be higher in rural areas. A disturbing trend that is emerging involves many employed workers identifying with being poor. Rural workers are still more likely to live in poverty compared to urban workers. More than 20 percent of the rural workforce lived below the poverty line. The market is showing that the gap in rural-urban poverty is not directly tied to someone’s education, employment history, or other factors. Economists feel that the key to reducing poverty in rural areas is by looking at the overall structure of the community.


There is a correlation between the economic turnaround and the rapid rise of entrepreneurial startup companies. More than 1,000 companies open up every day, which provide new market opportunities. Research has shown that rural areas have produced more entrepreneurial startups than urban areas. Most of the rural areas depend on farming, but there are other developing business opportunities in rural areas as well. Salary and wage jobs are not as frequent in rural areas. Urban areas are considered more lucrative for aspiring entrepreneurs because people have access to a larger network of suppliers and workers. However, many people living in rural areas may turn to entrepreneurship due to a lack of options.

Health Issues

According to statistics, people who live in rural areas are more likely to suffer from a serious health issue that can cause a disability. Economists point out that demographics, health care policies, and climate change are factors that may cause people living in rural areas to have more serious health issues.