Personal finance
Online betting site Intrade abruptly closes

When work bulldozes your personal life

Women getting rejected for mortgages

Gas prices ate into Americans' budgets last month

Job burnout worse for your heart than smoking

Swiss tax-cheat adviser blows his US clients' cover

School loans are just the start for some Ph.D.s

Penn State suspends its contract with Adidas

Even Exxon thinks the US will cut energy use

How much water from Poland Spring is in that bottle?

Looking for tech's future? Watch teenagers

Do you live in a county that's dying?

Why Mila Kunis is hardly a stock market indicator

Matt Lauer hosting 'Jeopardy' could be hazardous

FTC tells celebrity endorsers on Twitter: Disclose all

No Guinness for vegans this St. Patrick's Day

Red Bull is being blackmailed

Lumber finally rises from the forest floor

Applying for Obamacare could be painful

US getting another conservative news channel

Carl's Jr. sticks with its 'indulgent' menu

Which 200 airports will lose their control towers?

How to lose $8 million in 6 minutes

First-class battle over Saturday mail delivery

Time's opus on health care is a surprise hit
Do you live in a county that's dying?
Step outside your house or apartment and look around. Do you see more people moving out than unpacking or more folks being buried than born? If so, you're living in one of America's many counties that are dying off.

New estimates from the 2012 census released Thursday and reported by The Associated Press found the American population is shifting as local economies weaken and their populations age. The numbers show show that 1,135 of the nation's 3,143 counties are going through "natural decrease," where deaths exceed births. That's up from roughly 880 U.S. counties, or 1 in 4, in 2009.

So, how can you tell if you're in one of these dying counties? Well, if your home is in a far-flung suburb 45 minutes to an hour from a major city, there's a strong chance your town has watched a 2.1% boom in 2006 turn into a 0.35% decline last year.

Or if you measure your land in plantable acres, calculate your commute in how long it takes you to pick up hay, and count the days by keeping track of your monthly recycling pickup. You may be among the 46% of rural counties that experienced a natural decrease. By comparison, only 17% of urban counties went through the same.

Population decline has been also been happening in Japan and several European nations for some time now, and it would be a whole lot worse in places like New York, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh and St. Louis if it weren't for the influx of young immigrants from Mexico, Latin America and Asia. While many of America's shriveling counties are in the Midwest and Northeast, rural and exurban areas outside major cities and even cities in the South and West hit hard by the housing bust are seeing declines.

All of these areas have counties that are among the poorest in America, with some in South Dakota flirting with a 50% poverty rate. In the last year, Maine joined West Virginia as the only two entire states where deaths exceed births. But across the country, the birthrate has tanked since the recession. The U.S. population grew by just 0.75% last year, marking a low since 1937.

Regionally, growth in the Northeast slowed last year to 0.3%, the lowest since 2007. In the Midwest, growth dipped to 0.25%, the lowest in at least a decade. The story was only slightly better in the South and West, where growth rates rose 1.1% and 1.04%, respectively.

On the flip side, more than 70 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 are steadily increasing the mortality rate. On the whole, the populations of non-metropolitan areas last year declined by 0.1%, compared to 1% growth in large metro areas and 0.7% growth smaller metros.

Of course, if you enjoy solitude, a county that's emptying out is just fine.
Colorado doctors unite against energy companies

Monster Beverage looks for a buzz from food stamps

Hungry for a hit, McDonald's adds McWraps

Real cost of US war with Iraq: $1.7 trillion

This guy spent $45,000 on a marriage proposal

Starbucks' CEO perks up for minimum wage hike

CEO gives workers 'get out of jail free' cards

Violent crime is haunting Mexico's tourism

Invest like Warren Buffett with this app

Peek protection: Now you can block that drone

Jay Leno is no laughing matter for NBC

Are job cuts a myth about Obamacare?

Nike silences naysayers after outstanding quarter

Are we finally ready for turkey burgers?

Newsroom budget cuts create a downward spiral

Why young Americans are getting poorer

Senator: Should hourly minimum wage be $22?

Cookie hoax: Girl Scouts scammed out of $24,000

NCAA March Madness is no economic slam dunk

Pennsylvania may finally sell its state liquor stores

Lululemon's see-through yoga pants get yanked

The Easter Bunny is getting pinched this year

How ski resorts fend off accident lawsuits

Retirement crisis ahead for boomers and Gen Xers

Soda industry wins support as donations flow

Colorado company: New gun law will make us move

Michael Dell may have another bidder to outdo

What the government wants to take away now

US is still paying Civil War benefits

Here come new whiskey flavors

College won't accept students who need loans

Who's next as a merger frenzy takes off?

Study: Soda really does kill

Dark day for a Chinese solar panel maker

Wal-Mart expands shop-with-iPhone program

Celebrating Passover costs more this year

Meth-contaminated homes are a growing hazard

What recovery? Many workers still stuck in recession