A new report

from the University of New Hampshire's Carsey School of Public Policy examines whether rural America is "failing or succeeding". The answer is: it's complicated, Kenneth Johnson and Daniel Lichter report.

The report "provides cautionary lessons regarding the commonplace narrative of widespread rural decline and urban growth," Johnson and Lichter report. "It highlights the demographic fact that many counties simply 'grow up' to become metropolitan. Each decade, many of the most successful nonmetropolitan counties—those with the greatest population and economic gains—are redefined as metropolitan. Today, 71 million people reside in the 753 counties that were once nonmetropolitan but since 1970 have been reclassified as metropolitan. With so many growing nonmetropolitan counties shifting to metropolitan status each decade due to urbanization, it is little wonder that rural population gains lag behind those in urban areas."

A webinar at 2 p.m. ET today will discuss the report.

Click here to attend the webinar

. If you are unable to attend the webinar, a recorded version

will be available here

.