Bridging the Urban-Rural Economic Divide

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Bridging the Urban-Rural Economic Divide (pdf)

The national urban-rural divide narrative is one that touts (or bemoans) the all-consuming growth of our nation’s largest cities and laments rural communities as devoid of economic potential. But this isn’t the whole story.

In a challenge to the conventional narrative, Bridging the Urban-Rural Economic Divide finds that stronger links between urban and rural areas are key to spurring local, regional and state economic growth.

By examining four key areas — broadband access, educational attainment, high-value business growth and prosperity growth — the report offers policymakers glimpses into policy and program opportunities to bridge the urban-rural divide.

It’s time for the narrative to change from urban vs. rural to a shared economic future.

 Christiana K. McFarland is NLC’s research director. Follow Christy on Twitter at @ckmcfarland.