While people often talk about “rural America” as if it describes just one way of living, a new study identified five different types of rural communities in Ohio.
The list includes farming areas that many imagine to be stereotypically rural, but researchers also found communities of the rural poor and booming small towns attracting affluent young adults from nearby cities.
“The line between urban and rural areas is getting blurred and very dynamic,” said Darla Munroe , co-author of the study and professor of geography at The Ohio State University .
“We are seeing a rural America these days that encompasses different types of people who are making homes there for very different reasons.”
While the study was done in Ohio, Munroe said she believes most states have a variety of different types of rural communities, even if the types aren’t all the same as what the researchers found in Ohio.
The study was led by Sohyun Park, a PhD graduate of Ohio State, with geography doctoral student Rebecca Chapman as another co-author. The study was published online recently in the Journal of Land Use Science .