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Old 11-03-2015, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,053 posts, read 12,403,387 times
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Everyone needs to move to that urban metro blob. Leave more room for me in Ouray County. Guess I'm living in a myth. But we DO have one traffic light in the county.
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,295,953 times
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Excellent article, SkyDog77. The problems of rural areas outlined in the article aren't unique to Colorado or the West, but they are almost universal among rural areas all over the country. Change the names, and the conditions of rural areas in North Carolina or New York or Illinois are probably about the same, maybe varying in degree because of more population or less rugged terrain, but still similar.

Sadly, it seems that the rural areas of the country seem to be in a permanent, slow moving death spiral.
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:48 AM
 
20,840 posts, read 39,059,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
Excellent article, SkyDog77. The problems of rural areas outlined in the article aren't unique to Colorado or the West, but they are almost universal among rural areas all over the country. Change the names, and the conditions of rural areas in North Carolina or New York or Illinois are probably about the same, maybe varying in degree because of more population or less rugged terrain, but still similar.

Sadly, it seems that the rural areas of the country seem to be in a permanent, slow moving death spiral.
We've had a number of good threads and posts on this topic over the years. Rural areas have been emptying out since the latter 1800s as farm mechanization greatly and steadily reduced the number of people needed to run the farms. Large families were no longer needed for farming. Unneeded hands migrated to cities where the industrial revolution needed hands for factory work.

All of this greatly improved our standard of living; we've gone from "little house on the prairie" to our current status in about 150 years. I don't see it as a problem though the changes do unsettle some people who romanticize the good old days beyond the realities of those earlier eras. There's no way in hell I'd trade anything I have today for the existence of my Mom on a farm in WV in 1916 when she was born. She remembers the old town doctor making house calls - on horseback. No thank you to outhouses, hand pumped well water, TB, polio, yellow fever, measles, mumps, wood cook-stoves, hand laundry, etc.

Even as I approach 70 years, I have fond memories of many things, some not so fond memories of other things, and I look to the future with expectations of even better days ahead. For today's young people (rural or city) I still see the same things as requirements for success: good education (college or skilled trades), avoidance of drugs and dangerous substances, moderation with alcohol, healthy diet, regular exercise, and enjoyable recreational activities.

Bottom line, there's nothing to worry about, the good old days weren't that good for most people, the future will always have its challenges but also its opportunities.
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,295,953 times
Reputation: 13779
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
We've had a number of good threads and posts on this topic over the years. Rural areas have been emptying out since the latter 1800s as farm mechanization greatly and steadily reduced the number of people needed to run the farms. Large families were no longer needed for farming. Unneeded hands migrated to cities where the industrial revolution needed hands for factory work.

All of this greatly improved our standard of living; we've gone from "little house on the prairie" to our current status in about 150 years. I don't see it as a problem though the changes do unsettle some people who romanticize the good old days beyond the realities of those earlier eras. There's no way in hell I'd trade anything I have today for the existence of my Mom on a farm in WV in 1916 when she was born. She remembers the old town doctor making house calls - on horseback. No thank you to outhouses, hand pumped well water, TB, polio, yellow fever, measles, mumps, wood cook-stoves, hand laundry, etc.

Even as I approach 70 years, I have fond memories of many things, some not so fond memories of other things, and I look to the future with expectations of even better days ahead. For today's young people (rural or city) I still see the same things as requirements for success: good education (college or skilled trades), avoidance of drugs and dangerous substances, moderation with alcohol, healthy diet, regular exercise, and enjoyable recreational activities.

Bottom line, there's nothing to worry about, the good old days weren't that good for most people, the future will always have its challenges but also its opportunities.
What you say is true, but it's not just the rural areas that are dying; it's the small towns. In NYS, when I was growing up in rural Southern Tier in the 1950s and 1960s, every little town had a factory or three to provide jobs for the locals which then supported all kinds of other small businesses like supermarkets, department stores, shoe stores, etc. My hometown, population about 3,500, was the major job center for parts of three counties because it had a state mental hospital, a state facility for the mentally retarded, a large tannery, a large glue factory, and a full service hospital. That was in addition to several smaller factories. These in turn supported a commercial/retail district which included a supermarket, a couple of furniture stores, a department store, pharmacies, restaurants, banks, etc.

My hometown wasn't agricultural dependent, although there were numerous dairy farms throughout the area, primarily because it wasn't that great farming country but benefited from being on a fast-flowing stream for water power as well as having a strategic location. It also got lucky in that the railroad went through town in the 1870s.

Changes in the American economy and in American society have virtually killed the town -- and most of the other ones like it throughout the nation. It can't appeal to retirees even though it's quaint and set in a beautiful valley with a state recreation area nearby because it doesn't have services ... no hospital, no dentists, no full-time medical practice, no veterinarian, no retail except a dollar store, a home center, and a Rite-Aid pharmacy. It does have a small supermarket and a few restaurants. There's really no alternative for young people other than to move to bigger places because there's no longer ways to earn decent livings in small towns like my hometown.
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,218,153 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
Colorado, the state, is highly rural by land area. Coloradans are highly urbanized. The former makes Colorado somewhat different at state level than many states where the land area is more highly urbanized across the entire state. But the front range on its own would be more similar.

# of CO counties which are above national avg. density of 88 people per square mile? 9 front range counties. Below? 55. # above 500 people per square mile? Just 4. # above 1000/sq. mile? Just 2.

Overall density of Colorado? 49 people per square mile. Good for 36th place.

The population is urbanized but there are degrees of density. Denver County is the 23rd most dense county in U.S.. Broomfield 79th. No other CO counties in top 100. Denver population is more dense per square mile than Los Angeles County by about 50% but has only 4% of the density of density leader Manhattan.
Well, a big chunk of Los Angeles county to the north is mountains and high desert, so it's a little misleading. I'm pretty sure of you compared the CITY of L.A. to the city of Denver, L.A. would be denser.
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:00 PM
 
1,063 posts, read 575,560 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDog77 View Post
Nationally 75% of the population is urban, not rural. In the Northeast and Western states it is 90%. A significant difference.

Says this in the 4th paragraph of the article.
Thanks for agreeing with me. You think I'm somehow unaware?
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:14 PM
 
3,806 posts, read 3,991,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
Well, a big chunk of Los Angeles county to the north is mountains and high desert, so it's a little misleading. I'm pretty sure of you compared the CITY of L.A. to the city of Denver, L.A. would be denser.
You are correct. City of LA is twice as dense as city of Denver.

Counties were the focus of the article. Comparison to LA was an aside but your comment does improve understanding of that comparison.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:14 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,513,200 times
Reputation: 6928
This is very interesting thread. Yet, with the talk about urban and rural, there is another definition that may be also interesting to you all and that is frontier areas. This organization looks at these areas of each state and defines a frontier. National Center for Frontier Communities

This map is from 2010

http://frontierus.org/wp-content/upl..._fin062612.pdf

Colorado, of course, still has many frontier areas. Some states have none. It may surprise some of you that New York has areas that are designated as a frontier.

Livecontent
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:23 PM
 
3,806 posts, read 3,991,054 times
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Low density and distant from a market center. Yeah, when you have the combination it is different than with just one.
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:57 PM
 
Location: mancos
7,170 posts, read 6,447,346 times
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Colorado has plenty of rural areas where the average American could never survive.I live in one. One gas station.two bars,one grocery store.No ski area nearby,no movie theater,no clubs.There are plenty of areas like mine in CO but we don't have daddy employers to hand people jobs we are mostly skilled and self employed and do well.The front range is not Colorado it is Kansas with a CO zip code that happens to be our state capitol.Everyone wanting the CO dream has a college degree and no rural skills and winds up on the front range prarie. unless they have too much money and buy a ranchete complete with a state of the art security system so they can sleep at night.
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