Skip to navigationSkip to content

The rural-urban divide is widening, and the global economy faces a reckoning

Urban-rural divide
Reuters/Aly Song
Near, yet so far
  • Allison Schrager
By Allison Schrager


Published Last updated on This article is more than 2 years old.

Welcome to Tipping Points, a new feature for Quartz members about the financial and economic risks we face. Each week, Quartz’s Allison Schrager, a trained economist, will examine how a different event, trend, or condition may reach the point where it impacts our lives (for good or bad). Allison will highlight risks that have been hiding in plain sight, but have the potential to upend entire economies.

We can’t predict the future, but we can better prepare for it. This week, she’s looking at the rural/urban divide.

The division between rural and urban areas in North America, Europe, and Asia is one of the most destabilizing forces currently facing policy makers and their citizens. Educated workers in cities are surging ahead, enjoying income growth and higher standards of living. Meanwhile, life is stagnating in rural districts, which tend to be older and less educated. It’s not just a source of political division and populism, leading to once unthinkable election outcomes. It also threatens to strain economies, leading to lower growth and increased inequality.

Enrich your perspective. Embolden your work. Become a Quartz member.

Your membership supports our mission to make business better as our team of journalists provide insightful analysis of the global economy and helps you discover new approaches to business. Unlock this story and all of Quartz today.

Membership includes:

Quartz Japanへの登録をご希望の方はこちらから。