Younger generations, burdened with mountains of student debt and hope for glimmering city lights, are fleeing their rural neighborhoods and dropping everything run to the city and achieve their dreams.
This displays the American Dream perfectly at work: people were encouraged to better the lives of their kin and generations that follow, by striving for a more successful life for themselves than their parents had. This is causing what is referred to as the "rural brain drain". When these educated masses are changing generations of their family lifestyle, to live in an already thriving economy and social scene, they are leaving behind those without as high of an education.
Unfortunately, this is caused by the normalization of a college degree as something everyone has and needs to get a job. Hard work and education may lead to better jobs, but we need a reminder that it's also acceptable to get an "okay" job, and not everyone needs or wants to "aim higher" to receive the highest paying and most respected job out there, as proof that their education actually meant something.
Similarly, this escape from rural America is not only a driving force of the economic gap that is growing between city and rural people, but constructing a barrier between them based on education level acquired.
Currently, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) about only 40% of Americans over 25, have a college degree (associate, bachelor, etc). And that statistic, broken down by the United States Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, demonstrates that the gap of those educated people living in the city versus rural environment is growing. Statistics from 2000 show that there was an 11% increase of degreed Americans living in cities, which, according to the 2017 statistics, has gone up to 14%.
It may not seem exponential, but it shows that slowly but steadily, the demographic of young people seeking out college degrees are leaving their hometowns to find cities where they can achieve a higher pay grade and a change of setting.
All and all, if the trend continues to create a larger divide, rural areas will be inadequately equipped with educated professionals in the career fields that require a large educational background and/or help prepare future generations to take on the world (doctors, lawyers, politicians, teachers, etc).