Category: Vulnerable Families Research Program

Resource Category Topic Type
Rates of Public Health Insurance Coverage for Children Rise as Rates of Private Coverage Decline
This brief uses data from the 2008, 2009, and 2010 American Community Survey to document changes in rates of children’s health insurance, between private and public. The authors report that, nationally, private health insurance for children decreased by just under 2 percentage points, while public health insurance increased by nearly 3 percentage points.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Health Insurance Publication
Rates of SNAP Receipt Stabilize or Drop in All Regions for First Time Since Great Recession
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, SNAP has acted as an economic stimulus and part of a safety net for struggling families. In 2013, SNAP receipt fell slightly—a decline perhaps indicative of a slowly recovering economy. However, substantially more households still reported receiving SNAP benefits in 2013 than before the recession.3 Despite the declines in SNAP receipt in 2013, the program remains an important support for populations at risk for food insecurity and hunger. There is currently substantial disagreement about the future of SNAP funding. The president’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2016 made no substantial cuts to SNAP funding, and allotted additional funds to improving access to SNAP for seniors. By comparison, the budget resolution adopted by Congress cuts low- and moderate-income entitlements (outside of health care) by an average of one-third by 2025.4 If cuts to income security programs are applied across the board, the plan would cut $350 billion dollars over the next decade, from programs—like SNAP—that serve low income families. Although the proposed cuts are unlikely to be enacted in 2015, cuts will be debated and are likely to be a major component of the Farm Bill reauthorization debate, scheduled for 2018. Further, the impact of an earlier reduction in funding (November 2013) is not yet visible in most data, making it an important time to assess SNAP’s reach.5 This brief uses data from the American Community Survey to document rates of SNAP receipt in 2013, to track changes since the onset of the recession in 2007, and to monitor receipt by region and across rural places, suburbs, and cities. In addition, it examines levels of SNAP receipt among potentially vulnerable populations to determine how receipt has changed among these groups since the recession began.6
Vulnerable Families Research Program Family, Food Assistance, Safety Net Publication
Reading Levels of Rural and Urban Third Graders Lag Behind Their Suburban Peers
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 than their rural or urban counterparts. Rural students who were struggling readers at the beginning of kindergarten have lower average reading achievement in third grade than both urban and suburban students when children of the same socioeconomic status are compared. The differences in third grade reading achievement between rural and nonrural children who were low achievers in kindergarten most likely reflect different educational opportunities and school resources available to these children. The authors suggest that improved professional development opportunities for rural teachers may help narrow the differences in the third grade reading achievement of rural, urban, and suburban students who were struggling readers in kindergarten.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Rural, Urban Publication
Recent Data Show Continued Growth in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Use
This brief uses data from the American Community Survey to examine rates of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) receipt in 2011, with particular attention to changes since the onset of the recession, and to receipt by family composition, region, and place type (rural, suburban, and central city locations).
Vulnerable Families Research Program Family, Food Assistance, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
Recessions Accelerate Trend of Wives as Breadwinners
This brief, Recessions Accelerate Trend of Wives as Breadwinners, investigates the increased role employed wives played in family economic stability prior to, during, and in the two years after the Great Recession, and makes comparisons to the 1990-1991 and 2001 recessions.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Gender, Income Publication
Record Number of Children Covered by Health Insurance in 2011
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.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Health Publication
Regional Young Child Poverty in 2008: Rural Midwest Sees Increased Poverty, While Urban Northeast Rates Decrease
In 2008, America's recession affected poverty rates for children under age 6 unevenly, with rates in the rural Midwest rising significantly, while rates in northeastern central cities fell slightly. And in the rural South, where more than 30 percent of young children are poor, poverty rates for young children persisted at a very high rate. This is an analysis of American Community Survey data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Rural, Urban Publication
Related Foster Parents Less Likely to Receive Support Services Compared With Nonrelative Foster Parents
This brief identifies gaps in support services among foster parents using data from a nationally representative survey of children involved in the child welfare system (the second National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being).
Vulnerable Families Research Program Family, Health, Safety Net Publication
Reliance on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Continued to Rise Post-Recession
This brief uses data from the 2007, 2009, and 2010 American Community Survey to provide an up-to-date look at changes in SNAP receipt over the course of the recession. The author reports that receipt of SNAP continued to rise in 2010, increasing 4 percentage points since the recession began in 2007, and 1.6 percentage points since 2009.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Food Assistance, Safety Net Publication
Renters More Often Burdened by Housing Costs After Recession: Nearly Half of All Renters Spent Over 30 Percent of Income on Housing by 2010
This brief uses data from the 2007 and 2010 American Community Survey to document changes in the proportion of household income spent on rental costs (rent plus utilities) during the Great Recession, by region (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West) and place type (rural, suburban, or central city location).
Vulnerable Families Research Program Housing, Rural, Urban Publication
Restraint and Seclusion of Students With a Disability Continue to Be Common in Some School Districts Patterns Remain Relatively Consistent Despite Recent Policy Changes
In 2013, Carsey released a brief that analyzed rates of restraint and seclusion using a large, nationally representative data set of U.S. school districts. This brief, which analyzes a more comprehensive data set and the most current Civil Rights Data Collection, serves as a follow-up to the pre­vious brief.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education Publication
Rural Adolescents Are More Likely Than Their Urban Peers to Abuse Prescription Painkillers
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 decades, the increases have been most pronounced in small towns and rural areas.1 This rural drug epidemic requires immediate attention from policy makers and practitioners.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Drugs, Health, Rural, Substance Abuse, Young Adults Publication
Rural America and the South Have the Highest Percent of Veterans with Service-Related Disabilities
Veterans with service-related disabilities are concentrated in the American South and in rural places, this new fact sheet finds. Issued to commemorate Veterans Day (November 11), the report analyzes new data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2008 American Community Survey, which released service-related disability data for the first time.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Health, Rural Publication
Rural America in the 21st Century: Perspectives from the Field (Report to the Rural Assembly)
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, capital, and services. The overlapping forces shaping rural America–demographic transitions, economic changes, the legacy of chronic underinvestment in community institutions, and environmental factors—present challenges and opportunities. With the voices and strategies of rural Americans in hand, the National Rural Assembly can now move forward toward this vision for a twenty-first century rural America.
Demography, Vulnerable Families Research Program Community, Demography, Economic Development, Environment, Rural Publication
Rural and Central City Residents with Multiple Children Likely to Be Hardest Hit by Proposed WIC Cuts
This brief uses data from the 2007 and 2010 Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement to describe the distribution of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) receipt across the population and to detail place-based differences in receipt. WIC is a nutrition program that serves pregnant or postpartum women, infants, and children up to age 5 (who meet certain criteria) by providing them with nutrition education and checks or vouchers for food purchases. The proposed fiscal year 2012 funding is $733 million less for WIC than fiscal year 2011 levels, and far less than what is needed to serve all who are eligible. This brief describes the implications of the cuts to the WIC budget to help policymakers and service providers to better understand the population likely affected by cuts to WIC funding.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net, Urban Publication
Rural Areas with Seasonal Homes Hit Hard by COVID-19
In this data snapshot, author Jess Carson finds that rural counties where at least 25 percent of the housing units are for seasonal use are hit especially hard by COVID-19 compared with urban and other kinds of rural counties.
COVID-19, Vulnerable Families Research Program Community Development, COVID-19, Economic Development, Rural Publication
Rural Children and Those Residing in Central Cities Have Lower Rates of Health Insurance Coverage and are More Often Covered by Public Plans
This Carsey brief looks at the geographic distribution of health insurance for children. Based on data from the 2008 American Community Survey, it includes such findings as one in ten children are still uninsured, insurance rates vary considerably by geographic area, and rural children are most likely to depend on public plans for their health care.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Health Insurance, Rural, Urban Publication
Rural Children Are More Likely to Live in Cohabiting-Couple Households
As cohabiting increases nationwide, new data show that the growing rate of children in these households is most pronounced in rural areas. This brief analyzes recent U.S. Census Bureau data to explore these trends and patterns.
Demography, Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Demography, Housing, Rural, Young Adults Publication
Rural Children Increasingly Rely on Medicaid and State Child Health Insurance Programs for Medical Care
Despite a flurry of reports on health insurance coverage for children, virtually none of them have examined the unique situation of rural families where one-fifth of all the nation's poor children live. This brief takes an in-depth look at the health insurance programs, such as SCHIP and Medicaid, which rural children rely on for medical care.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Health, Health Insurance, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net Publication
Rural Children Now Less Likely to Live in Married-Couple Families
The percentage of rural children living in married-couple families dropped to 68 percent in 2008, one percentage point below that of children in metropolitan areas. In 1990, 76 percent of rural children and 72 percent of metropolitan-area children were living in married-couple families. But while marriage declined in both areas in the 1990s, urban rates bottomed out at 68 percent in 1998. The share of rural children living in married-couple families plunged from 73 percent in 2000 to 68 percent in 2008.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Family, Housing, Rural Publication