Publications

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September 15, 2015
In this brief, we compare Maine, one of the oldest states in the nation, to the United States as a whole. Historically, both children and the elderly were regarded as vulnerable groups in need of support from government programs. Traditional poverty estimates suggest that at least since the late 1960s, senior poverty has been on the decline, whereas poverty among children has increased. Declines...
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September 1, 2015
Conservative distrust of scientists regarding climate change and evolution has been widely expressed in public pronouncements and surveys, contributing to impressions that conservatives are less likely to trust scientists in general. But what about other topics, where some liberals have expressed misgivings too? Nuclear power safety, vaccinations, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are...
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August 12, 2015
Hispanics are driving U.S. population growth. Representing just 16 percent of the U.S. population in 2010, Hispanics accounted for the majority of U.S. population growth over the past decade. The current emphasis on immigration in public discourse and policy reflects the commonplace assumption that Hispanic population growth is driven largely by new immigration. Yet, most Hispanic growth today is...
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August 5, 2015
Political commentators routinely treat rural America as an undifferentiated bastion of strength for Republicans. In fact, rural America is a deceptively simple term describing a diverse collection of places encompassing nearly 75 percent of the U.S. land area and 50 million people. Voting trends in this vast area are far from monolithic. Republican presidential candidates have generally done well...
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July 28, 2015
From the beginning of the Great Recession in 2007 until 2012, receipt of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits grew steadily.1 Participation and funding rose to historic levels2 driven by the changing economy, intensified efforts to enroll eligible populations, and expanded benefits and eligibility via the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Throughout the recovery,...
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July 14, 2015
The early years of the twenty-first century have seen a major decline in the volume of migration from Mexico to the United States. According to one study, during the 2005–2010 period, slightly more Mexicans left the United States (1.39 million) than entered it (1.37 million), a change in the pattern of the last several decades.1 Another study finds that fewer Mexicans than non-Mexicans were...
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July 14, 2015
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which authorizes funding for federal nutrition programs (including the National School Lunch Program; the School Breakfast Program; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; the Summer Food Service Program; and the Child and Adult Care Food Program), is set to expire on September 30, 2015.1 The reauthorization process...
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June 30, 2015
Women’s contributions to family income are essential for most families. This is obviously true for the growing number of single-mother families, but increasingly so for married couple families. While dual-earner families are doing relatively well, family income overall has been stagnant or decreasing among single-earner families, resulting in a widening income gap. This study provides an...
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June 25, 2015
The growing diversity of the U.S. population evident in new Census Bureau estimates reflects two important demographic trends. The minority population is growing and the non-Hispanic white population is not. This interplay of white and minority population change is fueling the growing diversity of the U.S. population. The minority population is growing both because births far exceed deaths and...
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June 23, 2015
Just as good oral health is essential to good overall health, poor oral health can increase the risk of a number of serious health problems, including stroke and cardiovascular disease.1 Access to oral health care is not universal, however. Barriers to care may be related to dental insurance accessibility and affordability, out-of-pocket costs, provider availability, distance to providers, and...