Iowa State University economist Dave Swenson examines “troubling” trends in seventeen mid-sized cities (“micropolitan” areas) with core urban populations of 10,000 or more. -promoted by desmoinesdem
Iowa’s metropolitan areas are growing, a few quite smartly, but a majority of Iowa’s nonmetropolitan areas are declining, several quite sharply. These changes have implications for the vitality of and outlook for much of rural Iowa. They also have implications for dominant rural political attitudes.
As rural economies and populations transform, so too do their collective public policy preferences. Recent statewide and federal election results show clearly that nonmetropolitan Iowa has become more conservative than its historically-conservative norm. And current indications give us no reason to expect that trend to abate.