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Rural Towns Are Replacing Inner Cities As The Most Troubled Areas In America

West Union, W.Va.

When it comes to poverty, education and death rates from cancer and heart disease, rural America has replaced the inner city.

A Wall Street Journal analysis found that rural counties rank the lowest among all four major U.S. population groupings when it comes to critical socioeconomic measures, putting them behind big cities, suburbs and medium or small metro areas, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Manufacturing and agriculture jobs have steadily disappeared in recent decades, and census figures show urban residents are nearly twice as likely to hold a college degree than rural residents. At the same time real estate appreciation in rural areas has lagged behind city growth, further impoverishing rural families.