The effects of population growth in rural areas can have drastic effects on the dynamics of the rural area. New homes bring more people and services to the rural community, affecting employment, housing prices, public transportation, and infrastructure needs.
With an influx of new residents comes increased demand for housing and services such as medical facilities, schools, businesses, and other service providers. An increase in population can also lead to increased traffic congestion on rural roads.
Ultimately, an increase in population density brings both positive effects for economic development but this must be balanced against potential negative consequences such as straining existing resources.
Effects of Population Growth In Rural Areas At A High Rate of Speed
I attended a town meet and greet last night with candidates for selectman. A question came up that made me think. Does the town have any plans for major population growth in the coming years? No one seemed to be able to answer the question.
They knew the causes of population growth in rural areas as it happened around the beginning of the pandemic. People wanted to leave the busy cities and move into little rural towns if they could.
Of course, the discussion led to housing and short-term rentals as is the case in many areas of the country that are struggling with these pressing issues.
Housing Demand & Medical Services
Housing is a big issue in our rural area as it is in many across the country. The cost of homes has skyrocketed and the inventory is way down. Even if someone wanted to move to the area, they have a difficult time finding housing.
However, there is a new USDA loan program of 0% down program available starting today IF you qualify. It is only available to those that live in rural communities. Some say lack of housing is one of the top causes of rural decline.
Where we live you have to go an hour away to get to any hospital. Even that hospital has cut back on services.
The local walk-in clinic does not have an X-ray machine as they cannot find someone to run the machine. That makes it harder for the elderly population which still dominates our area. However, the candidates last night mentioned a few programs they would like to start for the elderly in the community.
Effects of Population Growth In Rural Areas Schools
Our school system is one school with grades K-12 in the same building and a total of just over 100 students for all the grades combined. A graduating class can be less than a dozen students.
However, as rural schools continue to grow larger, smaller classrooms have become a critical topic of discussion. Research has indicated that smaller classrooms lead to increased student engagement, participation, and a better understanding of concepts.
Smaller classroom sizes in rural schools are critical to improving academic achievement, enhancing student learning, and promoting lifelong success for rural area residents.
Businesses and Employment
Businesses in our rural town have been struggling to find help to run their restaurants or shops. We are in a tourist rural area on a lake. People come in the summer for boating and fishing and in winter for snowmobiling. The ski mountain also reopened last year.
However, there are no places for people to live if they do come and work here. Some businesses have gotten creative and bought homes to rent out to their workers are reduced rates.
Increased traffic is an inevitable consequence of population growth and economic development in any region. However, in rural areas, the impact can be particularly significant.
For residents in these areas, the additional wear and tear on local roads and highways is more than a matter of inconvenience or delays on their daily commute.
As traffic volume increases, so does the cost of maintaining and repairing the roads, placing an added burden on taxpayers. With every passing year, more tax dollars are required to keep the transportation infrastructure of rural areas in good working order.
Rural roads can get really beat up with increased traffic from increased population.
In Conclusion: Effects of Population Growth In Rural Areas
To conclude, there are more questions than there are answers. Townspeople want to keep the rural community small and the way it has been for years which drove them here. Others want to increase their businesses and don’t want to drive people away. There has to be a happy medium in there somewhere.
How is your small rural town doing with the effects of population growth in rural areas? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
FAQs: Effects of Population Growth in Rural Areas
What is the rural population growth definition?
Rural population growth is any increase in a rural population that is not considered an urban area.
What are the effects of rural decline?
Rural decline is when there is a decline of population in a rural region.
How do small towns and rural communities deal with increase in population?
They must plan ahead for rural development to handle the influx of additional people in their community.
Do longterm residents stay in rural areas?
Most residents of rural regions do stay there longterm.
What is the biggest issue of population growth?
Housing appears to be the biggest issues facing growing rural and urban communities across the country.