RELEASE: Rural Communities Have Experienced Net-Zero New Business Growth Since the Great Recession

Washington, D.C. — A new analysis from Center for American Progress Senior Economist Olugbenga Ajilore finds that since the Great Recession, virtually all new U.S. business growth has occurred in the 20 largest metropolitan counties, while net business growth in rural counties has been essentially zero. Ajilore did find, however, that the few pockets of rural America that have had new business growth are also experiencing growth in immigration.

“While much has been written about the tough job market in rural America since the Great Recession, there’s been surprisingly little focus on the lack of new business creation in rural communities,” said Ajilore. “Historically, new firm growth has played a key role in helping communities recover from recessions. There’s an important role for local, state, and federal policymakers to play in helping businesses in rural communities grow and thrive. Until there are efforts at all levels of government to foster entrepreneurship in rural areas, these communities will continue to fall behind.”

Read the issue brief: “Economic Recovery and Business Dynamism in Rural America” by Olugbenga Ajilore

For more information on this topic or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at or 202-495-3682.