All you have to do is listen to a couple hours of "gansta" rap to realize the rural community is very much dying. Sure the population is dying, that's how you know it's dying. We need crops, and for many other reasons, we don't need rural America at all. It's definitely dying.
I grew up on a family farm in rural Missouri. Some small towns are finding a niche, but the small family farm unsupported by any other income is hard to sustain and they become fewer every year. A lot of the industry in those communities has been outsourced to other nations. The small towns that are sustaining themselves are largely now centers for retail, healthcare, education, and other services, and they can only grow by taking business away from their neighbors. And the population is aging rapidly.
It won't completely die, but it is and will continue to whither away. It's very sad.
This has been ongoing since Eisenhower was in office. Yes, there are some thriving small towns. Yes, some people retire to the country. And there is always going to be tourism, dude ranches, second homes, and weekend- retreat cabins. Not to mention campgrounds. But look at the actual rural permanent population. Down, declining, and in some cases, gone. There are very few jobs. Farming is not as labor intensive. The mines are closing. Appalachia has been hollowed out, in places, and those that remain are unemployed, largely. "McFarms" are common, the good ole' corporate farm. The family farm is becoming a thing of the past. And small towns are losing people. This is not a good thing. I grew up in central Illinois, live in central Indiana, and have relatives in Appalachia. I have seen this in my lifetime. It is sad. But it is, none the less.
Farming is commercialized now. You used to be able to come out of highschool early at 16 or 17 and get a job paying $15 an hour in the countryside. Now there's nothing but minimum wage if your lucky. Services are spotty. Mail, cell, and internet services are more expensive and beginning to close down. No large businesses are building out there because there aren't any large numbers of qualified employees. Few universities, and the ones that are out there are dropping out-of-state tuition because they are beginning to become desperate. You can pretend all you want, but rural america will be no more in 100 years. Don't lie to your kids, set them up for a good career, not a trailer. Farming isn't an individual career anymore, its not financially possible.
The constantly increasing automation of BigAg means that the labor demands for ag output will continue to decline; that means fewer jobs, followed by shrinking populations. Will ag remain? Of course. Will cities gobble up all of our rural areas? Of course not. But it does mean there will be fewer and fewer people - votes - which can influence policy. No matter how much of a partisan slant and how much representation is allocated to 'geography', the influence of a shrinking population on our politics and the culture will wane and ultimately disappear.
The rural community is dying due the lack of resources to attract people to the area and not enough to keep people in those areas. Cities have concerts, museums, attractions and jobs that keep people engaged and interested in living, and working in the area, for both short and long term.
In the next thirty or forty years, America's urban population will vastly outnumber the rural population. Why? Because of statistics. Our cities are growing at an extremely fast rate, while most of our rural counties are either staying stagnant or declining in population. This is probably because of the recession.
Rural areas are dying not only in the United states, but all across the globe. Many huge cities are expanding for several reasons. If cities become over crowded, its only natural that they expand into rural areas. Also, expanding urban areas means more business and money for that particular area.
All you have to do is listen to a couple of hours of country music to realize that it's not dying. Sure the population is sparse, but that's why they call it rural. It's mostly agriculturally based which requires large areas of unpopulated land, hence, a sparse population. We need crops, and for many other reasons, we need rural America. It's not dying at all.