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52 Examples of Rural Issues

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Rural issues are social, economic, environmental and life problems and risks related to living in small towns or the countryside. This often has to do with distances between things and a lack of goods and services in rural areas. Rural issues also include demographic changes such as aging populations and population decline. The following are common rural issues.
Aging population
Aging workforce and business owners in agriculture
Agriculture issues
Brain drain – flight of skilled workers to cities
Childcare access
Conflict between hunters and property owners
Conservation of natural resources
Cost of living such as fuel
Cultural preservation and revitalization
Declining population
Dependence on agriculture
Dependence on cars e.g. loosing drivers license becomes major issue
Dependence on single industry such as mining
Disaster risks such as forest fires
Education access
Educational attainment levels
Elder care access
Emergency preparedness
Environmental pollution
Financial services access
Generational shifts and changing ways of life
Geographical distances
Healthcare access
Inadequate emergency services
Income instability such as jobs related to seasonal tourism
Internet access and speed
Lack of culture and entertainment options
Lack of economic diversity
Lack of food options e.g. one local grocery store
Lack of goods and services
Lack of job opportunities
Lack of public services
Lack of public transportation
Lack of social opportunities
Lack of social services
Lack of sports and recreation facilities
Lack of support networks
Lack of youth programs
Limited business opportunities
Living costs such as transportation
Long commute
Maintaining social cohesion and community engagement
Poor air quality e.g. due to agricultural activities
Poor infrastructure
Poor road conditions
Preschool access
Rural poverty
School quality
Social isolation
Substance abuse and addiction
Waste management access
Working conditions in industries such as mining and agriculture
Rural issues are more pronounced in isolated communities where the nearest major city may be many hundreds of miles away. This can affect the cost of living and makes access to services more difficult.

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Local Issues

A list of common local issues.

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