Most 'reasons' given for why cities count more are total distortions and the lack of understanding most often comes from diehard idealogues.
Small town rural towns have the typical welfare mother- white single teen to early twenties mom. EVERY two dot town has a nutrition site and the loss of it in a one dot town brings howls of protest. Small town schools employ everything a big city school district does for far fewer kids- but try and consolidate them to a more efficient configuration. Howls will greet you.
From education to farm subsidies small towns get nice Gubmint paychecks. Heck the Sheriff gets nice fed and state support to run his small dept. Meals on wheels to ambulance services. Nursing home subsidies to electric power price reductions. Red states routinely get more money back from DC than they send to the feds, yet they cluck at the idea of spending money in urban centers.
Seems odd to me, to support personal responsibility while grazing at the federal buffet on so many levels.