This book contains the latest research on social and economic trends occurring in rural America. Conducted by an interdisciplinary and regionally diverse group of social scientists, this original research highlights four major themes transforming contemporary rural areas: population composition change; industrial restructuring and changing livelihoods; changing patterns of rural land use; and areas of persistent disadvantage and emerging opportunity. Each theme is examined with an expanded overview and geographically varied case studies. This volume is the first scholarly assessment exclusively focused on rural demographic trends that exploits data from Census 2000. It contributes to knowledge of the interdependency between population change and rural society, and it provides an empirical context for considering policy choices. Enriched by perspectives from demographers, geographers, historians, and, sociologists, this volume is an essential starting point for scholarship on rural demographic change in the 21th Century.