As the internet spread, we knew two things would happen. First, increased bandwidth and remote working would make city living less necessary, and by extension, less popular. Second, as companies and workforces expanded geographically, rural areas would experience an economic boost as they became more connected to the drivers of American wealth. Well, things didn’t turn out that way. Anyone who walks the streets of NYC or has a view of the numerous residential towers rising above SF can tell you that cities are jam packed. And the boom that was headed to America’s rural areas has been a total bust. “In terms of poverty, college attainment, teenage births, divorce, death rates from heart disease and cancer, reliance on federal disability insurance and male labor-force participation, rural counties now rank the worst among the four major U.S. population groupings.” And economists think it’s going to get worse. From the WSJ: Rural America is the New Inner City. I suppose our bad predictions shouldn’t surprise us much. After all, the internet was also supposed to make us all get along better.

+ The Guardian: Why does Des Moines, Iowa have worse affordable housing than Brooklyn?