Over the past decade, rural communities across the nation have been losing population. Experts accredit this loss to the recession and a dwindling number of manufacturing jobs in these communities. With fewer factory jobs in rural America, fewer people are moving to places outside of cities– despite the fact that almost 75% of our country’s land mass is considered rural. Another factor to this decline is what is called natural decrease, a phenomenon where the death rate is higher than the birth rate: the Wall Street Journal reports that 36% of rural counties could attribute population stagnation to natural decrease. For some counties in the midwest, however, natural gas and oil discoveries have helped keep the rural communities intact.