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Publications

Natural Amenities Drive Rural Population Change

Climate, topography and water area are highly related to rural county population change over the past 25 years. A natural amenities index, derived and discussed here, captures much of this relationship. Average 1970-96 population change in nonmetropolitan counties was 1 percent among counties low on the natural amenities index and 120 percent among counties high on the index. Most retirement counties and recreation counties score in the top quarter of the amenities index. Employment change is also highly related to naturall amenities, although more so over the past 25 years than in the current decade. The importance of particular amenities varies by region. In the Midwest, for example, people are drawn to lakes for recreation and retirement, while people are attracted to the West for its varied topography.

Publication Name
ERS Agricultural Economic Report
Downloadable Documents
Author
David A. McGranahan
Publisher
Washington, DC: USDA Economic Research Service
Page Numbers
iii, 24
Publication Date
September 01, 1999
Publication Type
Reports and Guides
State
National
Keywords
Environmental Benefits

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