On The Map

Nonmetro county population change, 2005; Half grew, half declined

In the first half of the current decade, nonmetro America was almost evenly split between counties that grew in population (1,024) and those that declined (1,027). Declining counties contain only 34 percent of all nonmetro residents, however, because most are sparsely settled. Therefore, despite declining population in so many counties, total nonmetro population grew by 1.1 million from April 2000 to July 2005, to a total of 49.9 million.