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More Than One in Ten American Households Relies on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
December 14, 2010
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the most responsive federal programs to economic downturns, as evidence by the increases in SNAP use between 2007 and 2009. Nationally, more than one in ten households relies on SNAP benefits, and the rate is even higher in rural areas, with more than 13 percent of households reporting use. This brief examines the trends in SNAP use…
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No Place Like Home: Place and Community Identity Among North Country Youth
January 19, 2011
This brief explores the link between rural youths’ identification with their community, their self-esteem, and their future plans. The panel study of New Hampshire’s Coos County youth offers a snapshot into the dynamics of a population that is developing its identity in a region that is undergoing an identity transformation of its own. Place identity may be influential in how individuals think of…
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How Far Would You Drive for Fresh Food? How Some Rural New Hampshire Residents Navigate a Dismal Food Landscape
February 8, 2011
Lack of access to food stores with healthy and affordable food is one of the central obstacles to eradicating hunger in America. Approximately 23.5 million Americans live more than a mile from a supermarket, which makes accessing healthy food more challenging. Among low income populations, especially those with young children and limited transportation, this distance can severely limit access to…
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Enduring Ties to Community and Nature: Charting an Alternative Future for Southeast Alaska
February 15, 2011
Like much of rural America, Southeast Alaska is confronting the social implications of both population declines and the downturn in natural resource-based industries. Although many residents have chosen to leave Alaska in the last decade, the majority have stayed. Strong social cohesion and intimate ties to the natural amenities of the region are what sustain rural Alaskans. It is these…
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Environmental, Economic, and Social Changes in Rural America Visible in Survey Data and Satellite Images
March 1, 2011
This brief focuses on the changing landscapes of different types of rural America where social, economic, and ecological changes are occurring over large areas: the Northern Forest, Central Appalachia, and the Pacific Northwest. These three study sites embody varying historical reliance on land and natural resources and represent very different socioeconomic dynamics. Their common and unique…
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Civil Protective Orders Effective in Stopping or Reducing Partner Violence
March 9, 2011
Civil protective orders are a low cost, effective solution in either stopping or significantly reducing partner violence for women. While all women benefit from civil protective orders, this brief finds there are greater obstacles to enforcement in rural places, which result in less benefit for rural than urban women. The authors suggest that policies and services should be tailored to address…
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Education in Chronically Poor Rural Areas Lags Across Generations
March 29, 2011
As part of the Community and Environment in Rural America (CERA) initiative, the Carsey Institute has been investigating broad trends between rural community types, including the education level of residents and their parents. Since 2007, Carsey researchers have conducted over 17,000 telephone surveys with randomly selected adult Americans from twelve diverse rural locations to ask about both…
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Social Impact of the Gulf Oil Disaster: Diverging Views From Communities in Florida and Louisiana
April 12, 2011
Carsey researchers surveyed over two thousand residents of the Gulf Coast following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in 2010 to analyze their perception of the spill. Nearly one-half of all Gulf Coast residents perceived damage to the environment and wildlife as the most serious result of the oil spill. Perceptions regarding the impact of the spill reflect the different relationships to…
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Climate Change: Partisanship, Understanding, and Public Opinion
April 19, 2011
In 2010, Carsey Institute researchers began including three new questions about climate change on a series of regional surveys. They asked how much people understand about the issue of global warming or climate change; whether they think that most scientists agree that climate change is happening now as a result of human activities; and what they believe personally about the topic. Survey results…
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Household Reports of Energy Assistance Receipt Increased 48 Percent During Recession: Proposed Cuts Threaten Vulnerable Families
May 3, 2011
This brief examines heating assistance usage and the implications of President Obama's 2012 budget proposal to cut $2.5 billion from the $5.1 billion energy assistance fund for low-income families at a time when families are struggling with higher energy costs amid a difficult economy. The federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists vulnerable families in paying their…
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Reading Levels of Rural and Urban Third Graders Lag Behind Their Suburban Peers
May 10, 2011
This brief examines the complex interplay of family, school, and place factors in the reading achievement levels of third grade students. Third grade reading achievement is critical to later academic and occupational success. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, the authors report that suburban children realize greater gains in reading achievement from kindergarten to Grade 3…
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The State of Working New Hampshire 2007
October 25, 2007
The author of this annual update on the state's workforce finds that wage growth in the state has not kept up with the rising cost of living in New Hampshire. This negative impact exists despite the state's low unemployment rates and high labor force participation rates. This brief was prepared in cooperation with the Economic Policy Institute.
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EITC is Vital for Working-Poor Families in Rural America
September 25, 2007
In the 2004 tax year, tax filers claimed almost $40 billion through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), making the EITC one of the largest federal programs that provides cash supports to low-income working families in the United States. The EITC is especially important to rural families throughout the United States. Among poor and near-poor families, those in rural areas are more likely to be…
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Low Wages Prevalent In Direct Care and Child Care Workforce
June 6, 2007
The large-scale movement of women into the paid labor market has brought sweeping change into family life and also in who cares for the elderly and children. This brief studies workers in two low wage, predominantly female care-giving occupations plagued with high turnover direct care workers and child care workers. It provides a better understanding of how they fare when compared with other…
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Employment Rates Higher Among Rural Mothers Than Urban Mothers
September 24, 2007
As men's jobs in traditional rural industries, such as agriculture, natural resource extraction, and manufacturing disappear due to restructuring of rural labor markets, the survival of the family increasingly depends on women's waged labor. Rural mothers with children under age 6 have higher employment rates than their urban counterparts but have higher poverty rates, lower wages, and…
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Community Strength and Economic Challenge: Civic Attitudes and Community Involvement in Rural America
June 7, 2011
Residents in rural areas that are rich in amenities report a positive outlook about their community strength and civic engagement, with nine out of ten saying they would work together to solve a community problem. However, residents in chronically poor rural communities are less likely to trust, get along with, and help their neighbors. Michele Dillon, professor of sociology at UNH and faculty…
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Rural America in the 21st Century: Perspectives from the Field (Report to the Rural Assembly)
September 17, 2007
Rural America in the twenty-first century must develop new relationships and new ways of doing things to ensure an economically prosperous, socially just, and environmentally healthy future. Tapping into the resourcefulness and creativity of rural people will be essential in addressing this challenge. However, they cannot do it alone. Rural communities need critical infrastructure, investment,…
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New Faces at the Polls in the New Hampshire Presidential Primary
September 6, 2007
New Hampshire prides itself on its first-in-the-nation status, but with changing demographics and significant migration in and out of the state, the winner of the New Hampshire Primary was anyone's guess.
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Rural Soldiers Continue to Account for Disproportionately High Share of U.S. Casualities in Iraq and Afghanistan
August 28, 2007
When the nation goes to war, all Americans are expected to make sacrifices. Today's rural Americans, however, have fewer job opportunities within their communities, and are joining the military at higher rates. In turn, rural communities are facing military losses in disproportionate numbers to their urban counterparts.
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Child Poverty High in Rural America
August 28, 2007
On August 28, 2007, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey show that 22 percent of rural children are living in poverty, up from 19 percent in 2000. On average, rates are highest in the nonmetropolitan South (27 percent) and have climbed the most in the nonmetropolitan Midwest (by 3.9 percentage points).