Urban v. Rural

Pundits may talk about the differences between cities and countryside, but there are few places that exemplify that divide better than Virginia in 2020.

One of the reasons this city/country difference is so obvious in Virginia is because so many of the towns are designated as such in Virginia, where most the rest of the country is satisfied to count votes by county. As can be seen in the map above (from https://www.cnn.com/election/2020/results/president), the Virginia detailed map shows numerous dots of blue (democratic/liberal candidate leading) in what are otherwise red (republican/conservative candidate leading) counties. Almost all the dots that aren’t blue are for towns with less than 5000 people. 1

While the US presidential election will eventually be determined one way or the other, 2 it is worth discussing the differences between cities (or urban areas) versus the countryside (or rural areas). It’s been several years now since the majority of all humanity can now be found in urban settings, where all previous history involved a majority of humanity living in rural settings.

Rather than demonizing the “other” side, what are needs across rural and urban communities that we can agree on? Inasmuch as forces beyond our control are moving the world towards urbanization, how can we meet the needs of children of God in urban settings?


  1. The sole exception is Bristol, population ~30,000, which is on the border with the eastern portion Tennessee, which is voting strongly Republican.
  2. Either way, the democratic/liberal candidate will be able to claim to have won a majority of the popular vote.
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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-day Saints) for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but that Emma was right to assert she had been Joseph's only true wife.

3 thoughts on “Urban v. Rural

  1. – Objective truth. The media lies so much it’s hard to know what is true. No one wants to be lied to, everyone wants to know what is real.
    – Respect. Each side calls the other names, and accuses them of not caring about other people. Everyone wants human dignity.
    – Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. We want to own our businesses without fearing that they’ll be taken away or looted. We want to feel safe in our homes. We want to worship God the way we choose.
    – A sense of belonging. The thing about this “us vs. them” thing is when they’re not very many of “us,” you feel isolated and lonely. See above under “respect.”

  2. Minnesota is much the same way–the whole state is red, except for the two counties that comprise the Minneapolis area which has a population greater than the rest of the whole state.

  3. Delaware is traditionally seen as one “blue” county (New Castle, which has just over half the state’s population) and two “red” counties (Kent, with a little less than a fifth of the state, and Sussex, with the remaining quarter). In fact, this election Kent County went for Biden and the other statewide Democratic candidates.

    Kent County is also growing the fastest of the three counties. One state senator there said that’s fine, as long as the new people vote conservative. (He finished second in the Republican primary for governor.)

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