Rural America is more diverse than you think

The fact is, the nation’s countryside is much more diverse than the way it’s usually depicted in the media. It is not a parochial homogeny defined by narrow industrial interests, but a diverse landscape with a broad sweep of economic priorities.

Take ethnic diversity. In the 10 U.S. counties with the lowest per capita income as of the 2010 census, all of which are located in rural areas, whites constituted more than 61 percent of the population in only three. Whites were the minority in four of these counties. This does not account for households that may have a clear reason not to complete the census due to the presence of residents who may be living in the country without documentation. At the same time, while Trump did indeed do very well in rural America — he won by a margin of 62 percent to 34 percent in small towns — an election is an equally imperfect measure of who lives in a given place, especially considering the disproportionate impact of voter suppression measures upon minority voters.