DEMOGRAPHICS

A view from the hilltop at Bree-Z-Knoll dairy farm in Leyden, Mass.
File Photo / The Republican

New research from the Franklin Regional Council of Governments makes clear that rural towns in the western part of the state face far different challenges than those closer to Boston. 

Researchers took a look at towns with fewer than 500 people per square mile -- that's about half the cities and towns in the state. 

Linda Dunlavy is executive director of the Franklin Regional Council of Government. She said rural communities across the state face education challenges, but for different reasons.