Sunday, May 19, 2019

Population loss in rural Kansas: Republic County

As in major -- 50% or more.

Source:  Wikipedia (Republic County, Belleville)

Belleville is the county seat of Republic County.

Population loss by degrees:  80-89%70-79%, 60-69%, 50-59%.

Percentage of population 25 and older with a bachelor's degree:
  • 23.3% - Republic County
  • 32.3% - Kansas
  • 30.9% - U.S.
Percentage of population 65 and older:
  • 27.6% - Republic County
  • 15.4% - Kansas
  • 15.6% - U.S.

The last time Republic County voted for a Democratic candidate for president was in 1932, when FDR won his 1st of 4 terms in office.  In 1964, Barry Goldwater beat LBJ by 4.2 percentage points, and third-party candidate George Wallace received 6.1% of the vote in 1968.

Belleville Public Library

Luke Mahin grew up in Courtland (population 270), the geographic center of the lower 48 states. As Republic County economic development director, he is responsible for keeping his spot of north-central Kansas from going silent. This shouldn’t be a tough job, he told me: His internet-connected, foodie generation is full of farm kids eager to come home. Courtland has a local, organic farmer who uses hoop houses to keep the town supplied with fresh produce much of the year. Pinky’s is a local spot to gather at for coffee in the morning and beers in the evening—rare amenities for a town as small as Courtland. In theory, amenities like these could combine the best of the city with the perks of country living. 
The problem is there are no jobs; everyone who wants to stay has to bring one with them. And, when people are in short supply, so is affordable housing. The cost of building or rehabbing a house cannot be recouped in a rural housing market stuck in free fall. I asked Mahin who he turns to for support. Who has his back? He paused a moment before answering that he often turns to small-town advocate Marci Penner. She tries to help, he said.
Other Kansas population loss posts:
Cheyenne County/St. Francis.  (5/10/2019)
Rawlins County/Atwood.  (5/10/2019)
Decatur County/Oberlin.  (5/11/2019)
Sheridan County/Hoxie.  (5 /12/2019)
Gove County/Gove City.  (5/12/2019)
Lane County/Dighton.  (5/12/2019)

West central
Clark County/Ashland. (5/13/2019)
Hodgeman County/Jetmore.  (5/13/2019)
Ness County/Ness City.  (5 /13/2019)
Trego County/WaKeeney.  (5/13/2019)
Graham County/Hill City.  (5/13/2019)
Norton County/Norton.  (5/13/2019)
Phillips County/Phillipsburg.  (5/14/2019)
Rooks County/Plainville.  (5/14/2019)
Edwards County/Kinsley.  (5/14/2019)
Kiowa County/Greensburg.  (5/14/2019)
Comanche County/Coldwater.  (5/15/2019)
Barber County/Medicine Lodge.  (5/15/2019)
Stafford County/St. John.  (5/16/2019)
Osborne County/Osborne.  (5/17/2019)
Smith County/Smith Center.  (5/17/2019)

East central
Jewell County/Mankato.  (5/18/2019)
Mitchell County/Beloit.  (5/18/2019)
Lincoln County/Lincoln Center.  (5/18/2019)
Harper County/Anthony.  (5/19/2019
Ottawa County/Minneapolis.  (5/18/2019)
Cloud County/Concordia.  (5/19/2019)

Other population loss series:
Detroit metro.

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