2024 Survey of Rural Challenges results

Thank you to everyone who completed the survey. We received 519 responses!

Here are the quick preliminary results. We’ll share more as soon as we analyze all the responses and compare with prior years.

Top 5 Rural Community Challenges in 2024

  1. There’s so much conflict and old-way thinking in this town. How can we bring our community together?
  2. There is not enough good housing here. How can we make more available?
  3. Our downtown is dead. How can we fill empty buildings and make it a living place?
  4. We’re losing our young people. How can we keep them from moving away?
  5. No one volunteers. How can we get more people to help?

Top 5 Rural Small Business Challenges in 2024

  1. There’s no help or support for business owners here. Why aren’t organizations like a chamber or local government helping?
  2. I need to hire workers but there aren’t enough good employees here. How do I find good people?
  3. I can’t find a usable building in this town. Where can I put my business?
  4. Customers love what I sell but then they go buy the same things online. How can I make them buy from me?
  5. I’m doing all this marketing but it doesn’t do any good. How do I get customers to listen to me?

Rural Community Optimism in 2024

More than a third of people were optimistic, choosing a score of 4 or 5: 33.2%

Less than a quarter were pessimistic, choosing a score of 1 or 2: 24.6%

Just over 42% chose the neutral score of 3.

About the survey methods

The survey was open from March 1 to June 30, 2024. A total of 519 responses were collected online from subscribers and visitors to SaveYour.Town and SmallBizSurvival.com, from media coverage and cooperating groups that publicized the survey. 

Respondents identified themselves as rural by completing the survey, and 306 identified themselves as business owners by responding to the business question. Participants with identified locations included 493 from the USA, thirteen from Canada and four from Australia, two from the UK.

Based on SaveYour.Town customer data, most respondents likely serve as community leaders and officials, work in community and economic development, own their own businesses, work in a community-oriented business or volunteer informally in their community. 

When will full results be available?

The full results will be released later in 2024. In January 2025, we’ll release a comparison of all the results from 2015 through today.

You can find links to all prior years of the Survey of Rural Challenges here.