Publications

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Data Snapshot: Ten Years After the Great Recession Began, U.S. Birth Rate Is at Record Low
September 14, 2018
Recent National Center for Health Statistics data show a record low birth rate in the United States, and no evidence of any upturn in this birth rate. Though other social and economic factors may also be influencing U.S. birth rates, the impact of the Great Recession persists. I estimate that in 2017, there were 700,000 fewer births in the United States than would have been expected had pre-…
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A Transformation in Mexican Migration to the United States
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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Rates of SNAP Receipt Stabilize or Drop in All Regions for First Time Since Great Recession
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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Red Rural, Blue Rural
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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Behind at the Starting Line
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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Conservative and Liberal Views of Science
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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Official Poverty Statistics Mask the Economic Vulnerability of Seniors
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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Although Child Poverty Declined in 2014, Persistent Racial and Ethnic Disadvantages Remain
September 18, 2015
Poverty data from the American Community Survey were released on September 17, 2015, allowing a detailed examination of poverty in 2014 across the United States. These data reveal that child poverty has fallen slightly in the last year yet the longer term pattern of high child poverty persists. The levels of child poverty vary enormously along racial and ethnic lines though all groups have seen a…
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Rural Adolescents Are More Likely Than Their Urban Peers to Abuse Prescription Painkillers
October 22, 2015
U.S. media and popular culture historically portrayed drug abuse as an urban problem, but in recent years, there has been more media attention on rural drug issues. Part of this growing attention pertains to the growing epidemic of narcotic painkiller abuse in rural America. Although all areas of the country experienced increases in painkiller prescribing, abuse, and mortality over the past two…
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Trump and Sanders Supporters Differ Sharply on Key Scientific Fact
October 5, 2015
During the week of September 17–23, a WMUR/CNN poll by the UNH Survey Center1 asked more than 700 New Hampshire residents who they would vote for, given hypothetical pairs of candidates. For example, Suppose the 2016 presidential election was being held today and the candidates were Donald Trump, the Republican, and Bernie Sanders, the Democrat, who would you vote for? Other pairings in the…
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Federal EITC Kept 2 Percent of the Population Out of Poverty
November 17, 2015
This brief documents the proportion of Americans who would have been poor absent the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), all else being equal, across 2010–2014. We examine Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) rates as well as hypothetical increases in the rates of SPM poverty in the absence of federal EITC benefits. It is important to note that we do not model behavioral changes that might result from…
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Should I Say Something?
November 24, 2015
A growing body of research has documented the alarmingly high rates among high school youth of dating aggression, defined as physical, sexual, or psychological aggression that happens between current or former dating partners, and sexual aggression, defined as any unwanted sexual behavior, ranging from sexual contact to completed rape, that can occur between any individuals regardless of whether…
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Why Do the Children Flee?
December 2, 2015
“Fleeing Gangs, Children Head to U.S. Border” New York Times July 9, 2014 In summer of 2014, headlines throughout the hemisphere called attention to an unfolding tragedy: the plight of Central Americans fleeing north to escape the violence engulfing their communities. The staggering number of migrants seeking refuge sparked a great deal of debate within the United States, particularly due to…
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Carsey Perspectives: Polling and the New Hampshire Primary
December 14, 2015
As of this writing, the New Hampshire primary is scheduled to take place in just about two months—on Tuesday, February 9, just eight days after the first nomination contest, the Iowa caucuses. Numerous polls have already told us what the voters are contemplating “if the election were held today.” In interpreting what the polls mean for the actual primary election, however, we need to take into…
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Deaths Exceed Births in Most of Europe, But Not in the United States
December 15, 2015
With the increased attention to Europe’s demographic future stimulated by the on-going immigration crisis, we present important new findings about the diminishing number of births compared to deaths in Europe and the United States from our recent article in Population and Development Review. When births fail to keep pace with deaths in a country there is a “natural” decrease in population and a…
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Record Number of Children Covered by Health Insurance in 2011
February 5, 2013
Using data from the 2008 through 2011 American Community Survey, this brief describes rates of children’s health insurance coverage nationally, by region, and place type (that is, rural, suburban, and central city). In addition, it details the composition of coverage in the United States, specifically the proportion of children covered by private and public insurance.
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Informal Kinship Care Most Common Out-of-Home Placement After an Investigation of Child Maltreatment
February 12, 2013
This fact sheet examines differences between urban and rural areas in foster care placement with informal kin caregivers. The data for this analysis come from a national sample of children who had a maltreatment report that resulted in an investigation: the second National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being.
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2014 Data Indicate That Four in Ten Children Live in Low-Income Families
December 16, 2015
In September 2015, the Census Bureau released 2014 poverty data from the American Community Survey (ACS), the only regular source for reliably estimating child poverty in geographic areas below the state level using the official poverty measure. In this brief, we use ACS data to explore child poverty rates across the United States by region, state, and place type (rural, suburban, and city). We…
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Rural Natives’ Perceptions of Strengths and Challenges in Their Communities
February 26, 2013
This brief uses two sources of data to explore how Native Americans view the current socioeconomic and environmental state of their communities and their future within them—the Community and Environment in Rural America (CERA) surveys and focus groups with Native leaders in one rural state.
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Data Snapshot: Declines in Child Poverty Continue in 2017
September 13, 2018
The official poverty measure indicates that child poverty declined by 1.1 percentage points between 2016 and 2017, according to analyses of the latest American Community Survey data released today. By 2017, child poverty across the nation was still 0.4 percentage point higher than before the Great Recession. Child poverty remained higher in cities and rural places than in the suburbs. For the…