Nonmetropolitan counties gained population from 2010 to 2020 in natural increase and international migration. Population loss from domestic migration (people leaving nonmetro counties) was greater however. The result was a net decrease in nonmetro population of nearly 260,000 for the period. (U.S. Census data)
After gaining about 1 million residents from 2000 to 2010, the nation’s nonmetropolitan population fell by 260,000 residents in the most recent decade. The decrease from 2010 to 2020 was slight — about half a percentage point. And it was fueled by increased domestic migration — movement of people from nonmetropolitan counties to metropolitan ones — not by the number deaths and births.