Report includes an interactive data table allowing users to find their state or rural county and assess the potential impact of adding '100' or '200' immigrants to their community
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, FWD.us is releasing a new report revealing the significant benefits of increased immigration for rural America. Entitled “Immigration is Reversing Rural Population Decline,” the report finds how welcoming more immigrants to rural counties across America would erase two decades worth of working-age population losses, while also growing and revitalizing these communities.
”Today’s report finds that, despite the polarization and gridlock around our nation’s immigration laws, struggling communities in rural America could experience an economic boom by marginally increasing immigration levels by just 100 or 200 new individuals each year for the next several years,” said Phillip Connor, Senior Demographer at FWD.us.
According to the report, nearly two-thirds (62%) of rural counties nationwide would experience a rise in working-age populations in 2040 compared to 2000, with the settlement of just 100 new immigrants each year. This percentage rises to nearly three-quarters (71%) of counties if 200 new immigrants were welcomed each year.
The analysis sheds new light on the severity of population declines in rural counties across the United States, which has led to shrinking economies and limited access to essential services and resources. Over 77% of U.S. rural counties currently have fewer working-age individuals (ages 15 to 64) compared to two decades ago.
Using case studies from Franklin County in Alabama, Sioux County in Iowa, and Aroostook County in Maine, all of which have been able to rebound their working-age populations through increased immigration, the report draws from existing success stories and new quantitative data to demonstrate the transformative potential of smart immigration policy for rural America.
“Immigrants and a modernized immigration system are a huge opportunity for rural America. These findings should serve as a call to action for localities looking for answers to the downward population spiral causing many communities to hemorrhage people, jobs, and talent,” added Todd Schulte, FWD.us President. “The data are clear, increasing immigration in rural America remains the best and most immediate path forward to revitalizing communities and securing the future of crucial industries and local job growth.”
Read the full analysis: Immigration Can Reverse Rural Population Decline