MILWAUKEE- More people are moving out of Wisconsin’s rural communities than are moving into them, which, over time, could put services like police, fire, and public schools at risk.
The study published last week by the not-for-profit research group Forward Analytics shows that 66% of the state’s rural communities have lost roughly 40% of their population density since 2008.
Study author Dale Knapp tells WTMJ the loss of population density means more than empty homes for many communities, “When people leave, opportunity often follows.”
With 31 of 46 rural Wisconsin counties losing population during these years, it is not unexpected that a majority also experienced workforce decline. In Adams, Iron, Price, and Wood counties, labor forces shrank more than 10%. In another eight counties, declines topped 5%.
You can listen to the full interview with Dale Knapp below: