No American group has more to lose in Social Security reform than farmers, ranchers and other rural dwellers, according to USDA demographic and income data.
The reasons are evident and intertwined: Rural America is older, poorer and more dependent on federal retirement and health programs than metro America.
Moreover, the need for programs like Social Security and Medicare will increase in coming decades because rural America is aging faster than the rest of the nation while its economic growth is slower.
Statistically speaking. The most current data, courtesy of USDA’s Economic Research Service, shows that in 2000 and 2001:
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