This article re-introduces the concept of dependence into rural studies and shows that age-related dependence varies greatly by race and location across the South. Youth, elder, and total dependence ratios were calculated for blacks and whites and by metropolitan and nonmetropolitan locations for Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Total, youth, and elder dependence are higher in nonmetropolitan areas. The highest dependence is in nonmetropolitan counties with high percentages of black population. Total dependence is higher for blacks than whites. This difference is primarily because of the much higher dependence ratios for black youth. Elder dependence is highest in nonmetropolitan counties, and white elder dependence is slightly higher than black elder dependence in all locations. The wide range of dependence ratios found in this study suggests that rural development efforts should consider the divergent needs of black and white populations in nonmetropolitan places.

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