LEWISTON-WOODVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Tucked away in northeastern North Carolina is Bertie County -a rural, primarily black community in a poor areas with many of the state's fastest-shrinking towns.

Data from the UNC Carolina Population Center shows the county is home to seven of the state's top 10 towns with the biggest percentage decline in the number of people between 2015 and 2016.

The center says further decrease is expected as more people die there than are born, and more people move away.

For rural, small towns it's a story repeated nationwide: Young adults tend to leave rural hometowns in search of better employment and educational opportunities.

In Bertie County's towns, there aren't many businesses. Industries that once thrived are shuttered. But some officials there say they're committed to revitalization.