WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Rural development

Farm towns in Illinois have been shrinking for decades, and the trend doesn’t show signs of reversing.

By 2025, rural counties with populations of less than 10,000 people will see 7.4 percent of their residents leave, while counties with populations between 10,000 and 25,000 will lose 5.4 percent. That’s according to projections from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

The town of Brookfield, Missouri, in the north-central part of the state is a close-knit community. Population: about 4,500. Becky Cleveland, who grew up in town, says the area looks a little different today.

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Rural communities across Illinois are eligible for thousands of dollars in state money to upgrade municipal facilities with energy efficient equipment.

Energy efficient light bulbs and boilers cost more, so cash strapped communities are less likely to pay that extra money.

Rural Development at Risk Due to Fiscal Cliff

Nov 15, 2012
SSS

Rural communities face possible cuts to the assistance they receive from the federal government. The House version of the currently-stalled Farm Bill makes deep cuts to some rural development programs.