In brief, six states are currently in outright depopulation. Another sixteen states are experiencing declining under 65yr/old populations only offset by surging 65+yr/old populations, and somewhere between 2/3rds and 3/4ths of all counties in America are likewise suffering one or the other.
America is in the midst of an ongoing and accelerating shift in demographics and population growth. These trends, long in place, are at a tipping point that are simultaneously driving urban economic growth (plus associated asset bubbles) and rural economic declines (plus associated asset collapses). The spin up and spin down are mutually interconnected, the result of movement in a zero sum game. But for select regions (and rural America in general), there is a surging quantity of sellers and a dwindling quantity and quality of buyers that will result in the primary asset of most Americans, their home, transitioning from an asset to an outright liability.
Many will point to record stock market valuations as an indicator of positive economic and/or business activity to refute my claims. Instead, I argue it is the Federal Reserve and federal government policies, in place as a quasi "life support" for the negatively affected regions and rural America at large, that are driving the asset valuation explosions of equities (chart below, representing all stocks publicly traded in the US) and urban housing. I will outline why the situation in the affected regions will only get worse and thus the Fed believes its hands are tied. Why any amount of normalization will only induce localized collapses across much of the nation. The total market capitalization ($ value) of the Wilshire has nearly doubled the acknowledged "bubbles" of 2000 and 2008 and is likely to continue rising further, precisely due to the worsening issues I detail below.