Rural Missouri - July 2013 - (Page 4)
C O M M E N T S
“Devoted to the rural
way of life”
Rural population drop
Volume 65 / Number 7
Rural population decreases, but parts of rural Missouri buck trends
counties — such as those surrounding Springfield, St.
ew Census Bureau figures show that the popuLouis and Kansas City — that has long swelled the ranks of
lation in non-metropolitan counties — a freneighboring non-metropolitan areas has all but stopped.
quently used definition of “rural” — decreased by
From 2004 to 2006, those non-metropolitan counties add44,000 people, or 0.1 percent nationally, between
ed half-a-million people, then experienced a slight populaApril 2010 and July 2012.
tion loss from 2010-2012.
Rural America has long grown at a much slower clip
In addition, the lure of recreation, tourism and retirethan metropolitan areas. But analysts say the latest data
ment industries in rural America might be waning. Nationmark its first absolute drop, with implications for a variety
wide, population growth in non-metro counties with recof federal programs.
reation-based employment has dropped to just 0.5 percent
Despite losing one congressional seat following the
since 2010. However, access to recreation and tourism has
2010 Census, Missouri’s population actually increased by
7 percent overall.
growth for Missouri
The state bucked
electric cooperathe trend in some
tives in southwest
rural areas. But
traditional farmin the Branson
ing areas in north
area where White
Missouri and the
River Valley Electric
serves. Around Fort
downward populaLaclede, Gascosage
The analysis is
electric co-ops benbased on research
efit from military
started in the
1960s that divides
the country into
growth has continnon-metropolitan
ued in the southcounties.
west Missouri lake
That’s an acceptregion, along with
ed way — though
photo by Jim McCarty
the area surroundnot the only one
No one lives here now. Abandoned houses are common in many rural areas.
ing Columbia and
— of defining rural
America. The AgriCounty’s 3.6 percent population increase led the state,
culture Department plans to consolidate what it regards as
while Johnson County (3.4 percent), Platte County (3.1
“rural,” so that communities of 50,000 people can qualify
percent) and Christian County (3.1 percent) also showed
for its programs.
growth. Elsewhere, the previously high-growth areas served
In the last two years, the numbers of deaths and migraby Cuivre River Electric north of St. Louis continued to
tions from rural areas has outpaced the number of births
grow at a modest pace of less than 2 percent in the twoand migrations into rural America. The study showed that
year time period.
135,000 rural births from 2010-2012 were offset by the
One bellwether of rural population growth — the cir179,000 people who moved away from rural areas.
culation of Rural Missouri magazine — reflects this slow
While the decrease in population is quite small, it
but steady growth trend. From January 2010 to December
marks a historic shift. In the past, natural rural population
2012, circulation increased by 3,497. Most of this growth
increases outpaced those leaving the rural areas. This outcame from Cuivre River Electric, which increased by 1,149
migration typically follows tough economic times, such as
members, and Boone Electric, which added 903 members.
the farm crisis of the 1980s when outmigration was much
higher than it was during the 2010-2012 period.
— EC Today.com
A key finding shows that spillover from metropolitan
Laclede Electric Cooperative loses manager
earts were heavy at Laclede Electric Cooperative when employees, directors
and members heard the word that Manager Ken Miller had died suddenly
June 4 of an apparent heart attack. Ken had been the cooperative’s manager
since April 1, 1998, but had been a cooperative employee since 1984. He was
hired as office manager after working for Empire Gas Corp. for 14 years.
During his rural electric career, Ken distinguished himself as a hard worker and a
friend to all in the electric cooperative family. He was past president of the Lebanon
Area Chamber of Commerce, a member and past president of the Lebanon Rotary Club,
a member of the Red Cross Advisory Committee for Laclede County, past chairman of
the Red Cross Home Town Heroes and was a member of the Lebanon Ambassadors and
a board member for Lebanon Regional Economic Development Inc. In addition, he
served in various capacities both nationally and within the state to support the cause of
the rural electric cooperative program.
Ken was a trusted friend and mentor to many and he will be sorely missed at Laclede
Electric and all of Missouri’s electric cooperatives.
Jim McCarty, editor
Jason Jenkins, managing editor
Heather Berry, associate editor
Megan Schibi, editorial assistant
Mary Davis, production manager
Kile Brewer, intern
Alyssa Goodman, intern
Co-op page designers
USPS 473-000 ISSN 0164-8578
Copyright 2013, Association of Missouri Electric
Cooperatives. Call for reprint rights.
Rural Missouri is published monthly by the
Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.
Barry Hart, executive vice president. Individual
subscription rate: $10 per year or $22 for three
years, taxes and postage included. Group rate
for members of participating RECs $4.20, taxes
and postage included. Delivery as specified by
subscriber. If not specified, delivery will be by
periodical class mail at subscriber’s expense.
Periodical Class postage paid at Jefferson City,
MO, and additional mailing offices.
P.O. Box 1645
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Postmasters: Send address changes to
Rural Missouri, P.O. Box 1645,
Jefferson City, MO 65102.
Subscribers: Report change of address to your
local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Rural Missouri.
Advertising standards: Advertising published
in Rural Missouri is accepted on the premise
that the merchandise and services offered are
accurately described and sold to customers at
the advertised price. Rural Missouri and Missouri’s electric cooperatives do not endorse any
products or services advertised herein. Advertising that does not conform to these standards or
that is deceptive or misleading is never knowingly accepted by this publication.
National Advertising Representative:
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St., Suite 504; Austin, TX 78704
Member, Missouri Association of
Publications and Missouri Press Association
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - July 2013
Rural Missouri - July 2013
That old-time religion
Out of the Way Eats
Hearth and Home
Keep it cool
On the banks of Bull Shoals
Rural Missouri - July 2013