#199 – Inside Our Industry – The South Was the Center of Rural Population Growth Last Year#199 – Inside Our Industry –

Posted on | Inside Our Industry

It is no surprise that where the population growth is occurring is also where new manufacturing jobs are being created.

The South Was the Center of Rural Population Growth Last Year
Sarah Melotte, The Daily Yonder, April 30, 2024

The Southeastern U.S. was responsible for nearly 90% of the population growth that occurred in rural America last year, a Daily Yonder analysis of 2023 Census Bureau data shows.

From 2022 to 2023, nonmetropolitan (rural) counties in the South grew by 0.54%, adding an estimated 95,800 residents. Nationally, rural America gained 108,000 residents, meaning rural counties outside the South added only 12,200 people. Rural America overall grew by about 0.24% last year, as we previously reported

The growth in the rural South came from people moving into rural counties, not from births. About 143,800 people moved to rural southern counties from 2022 to 2023; 86% of those transplants came from other parts of the U.S. 

The population growth rate in the metropolitan South was more than twice the rate of growth in the region’s rural counties. The metro South’s population climbed by an estimated 1.36%, an increase of 1.3 million residents from 2022 to 2023.

Population growth in the last year in the rural South came primarily from migration. If it weren’t for people moving to the rural South, southern nonmetropolitan counties would have lost 48,000 residents.

Rural counties where manufacturing was the dominant industry saw an increase of 28,700 residents in 2023 compared to 2022, a 0.67% increase. 

Full report.