MSU Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
In the U.S., the 1980s reversed the favorable rural growth trends of the seventies. The nonmetro population growth slowed and the traditional sectors of rural areas suffered from unfavorable trade conditions and from the recession of the early eighties. Generally, rural areas in all industrialized countries have become more vulnerable to world market trends.
Improvements in transportation and telecommunications provide rural people and communities with more possibilities for economic development. The social and economic changes taking place in rural areas create both challenges and opportunities for local and national policymakers. A better understanding must be achieved concerning the role of rural areas in the transition from an agrarian to an industrial economy. A successful rural policy must be based on the recognition of increasing diversity of rural areas.