Friday, November 18, 2016

These Rural Statistics Help Explain the 2016 Election

The new USDA report, "Rural America At A Glance 2016 Edition" is highly relevant to the recent election. People living in rural areas are hurting for jobs, and income, and community vitality. I've excerpted two graphs from the report and a few statements.

  • The total population in rural (nonmetro) counties stood at 46.2 million in July 2015, representing 14 percent of U.S. residents in 72 percent of the Nation’s land area. The rural population declined by 136,000, or 0.3 percent, between 2010 and 2014, before leveling out in 2015.

  • Rural poverty rates have been higher than urban rates since the 1960s when the rates were first recorded.

  • Rural unemployment nearly doubled during the Great Recession, rising from 5.2 percent in 2007 to 9.9 percent in 2010.

The 2016 election was November 8th, and this report was released and commented on by Vilsack on November 14th.

What did eight-year Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, long-time friend of Hillary Clinton, have to say about this report which had uncanny timing and relevance to the election of Trump, an election result which shocked reporters and pollsters? He said, "rural America has begun a remarkable comeback. Key economic indicators continue to show that rural America is rebounding... The future of rural America looks much brighter today than when President Obama took office. The incredible results highlighted in the new report demonstrate how long-term government investment and positive partnerships with public institutions are central to rural America's continued progress."

Vilsack's words illustrate very well the disconnect between those in power and the rural voter.

And that is what swung the 2016 election.

To see the entire report, here is the link:

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, that seems to be a large part of what swung this election....