"This is what they look like." The video below is a relatively unfiltered view of small towns with nearly-all-white populations, strung along a highway in Illinois. What's revealed might be surprising to some who have only seen such places from the distance of an airplane or interstate highway, or through the lens of major media. This is not a documentary, just footage of a drive through the towns, with some commentary by the driver.
As he rolls through each town, he supplies demographic statistics, citing populations that are 97%-100% white. But his numbers seem to be taken from Wikipedia with no real knowledge of the towns, which leads to some misinterpretation. For example, entering Hillsboro (at 24:46), he gives the gender & racial makeup of the town as 68% male, 32% female, 79% white, 15% Black, and 5% "Hispanic." From that, he concludes that Hillsboro is much more racially diverse than the other towns and that "the ladies have a lot more choices." But his conclusions seemed "off" to me, so I checked, and my guess was right -- Hillsboro has a prison. The Census counts prisons as the residence of inmates, so, being aware of who is targeted for incarceration, I would guess that the town itself is probably no less white and gender-balanced than the others.
The videographer shows himself to be something of a "parachute journalist," making casual judgements about particular homes and businesses, based on his own personal filter. For example, while driving by, he pronounces certain rundown homes to be unoccupied, without any actual information about them. He's also amazed at some of the larger, older, homes and buildings, saying, "Wow, you don't see things like that anymore anywhere in the country!" Which is basically hogwash. They're actually fairly common in a lot of the country.
Another thing that adds to the not-quite-the-whole-truth aspect of the video is that the filming was done during a particularly dreary time of the year. These towns look a lot more pleasant when trees and lawns are green and flowers are flourishing.
In spite of its shortcomings, this video does give a relatively unfiltered (though limited) view of rural areas that have been economically left behind.