I don't have any grand point to make here, and maybe you know this already, but I didn't realize how much population flow there is within the US from rural to urban areas and how many rural areas are actually losing population. The first graph shows the breakdown of urban-rural counties, and the second shows counties where population has increased or decreased. The article (on changes in rural banking over the 1985-2005 time period) says, "There is a remarkable degree of overlap in the rural counties in Map 1 and the counties with population loss in Map 2." (click on graphs for larger versions):
Before trying to think through any economic implications, does anyone know if this movement is new in any way (and what is driving it if it is new), or is this the continuation of a long trend of population movement from rural areas to non-rural areas?