Category: Rural

Resource Category Topic Type
"Not very many options for the people who are working here"
In this brief, we use interview and focus group data to describe some of the ways that restricted rural housing stock affects working families in two rural New England counties, and explore solutions proposed by rural residents and experts to make housing affordable (see Box 1 on page 2). Rural amenities and scenery make residence in certain New England regions desirable for second-home owners, vacationers, and retirees. However, the use of housing for these purposes, combined with efforts to conserve acreage and preserve scenery, serves to diminish the supply of housing, making it unaffordable for many low- and moderate-income residents. Moreover, the housing that is available varies in quality, and regional nonprofit and federal housing assistance programs lack the capacity to meet all residents’ needs.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Housing, Rural, Safety Net Publication
2020 Census Faces Challenges in Rural America
The 2020 Census will have ramifications for every person in the United States, urban and rural residents alike.1 Interest in the Census is growing2 and the Census Bureau’s plans are becoming more concrete,3 but little has been written about the special challenges that will make some rural areas and populations difficult to enumerate accurately.
Demography, Vulnerable Families Research Program Demography, Rural, Urban Publication
A Profile of Latinos in Rural America
Despite their traditional residence in U.S. urban areas, Latinos represent a large and growing segment of America's rural population. Using recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2006 American Community Survey (ACS), Saenz presents a profile of the Latino population in the nonmetropolitan United States.
Demography Demography, Hispanics, Rural Publication
Beginning Teachers Are More Common in Rural, High-Poverty, and Racially Diverse Schools
This brief considers whether the concentration of beginning teachers in a district is associated with the district's poverty rate, racial composition, or urbanicity.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education, Poverty, Rural Publication
Beyond Urban Versus Rural
In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, commentators focused on the political polarization separating residents of urban and rural America. Certainly rural–urban differences are only one of several factors that contributed to the surprising 2016 outcome, but rural voters are rightly acknowledged as one key factor in Donald Trump’s electoral success. Yet, defining 2016 as the tale of two Americas—one urban, one rural—hinders a nuanced understanding of the country’s political geography. Many political commentators mistakenly caricature rural America as a single entity, but our research summarized here shows that complex variations in voting patterns persist among both urban and rural places.1 Rural America is a remarkably diverse collection of places including more than 70 percent of the land area of the United States and 46 million people.2 Both demographic and voting trends in this vast area are far from monolithic. Here we examine voting patterns over the last five presidential elections, treating rural–urban differences as a continuum, not a dichotomy.
Demography Demography, Politics and Elections, Rural, Urban Publication
Biofueling Rural Development: Making the Case for Linking Biofuel Production to Rural Revitalization
Biofuels play a crucial role in America's quest for oil independence. In recent years, the biofuel industry has seen significant technology and efficiency advances, as well as expansions in the materials that can be used to create biofuels. Grains and oilseeds are limited in their ability to meet fuel needs, but a shift to biomass feedstocks offers better production possibilities. For rural communities, locally owned biomass refineries may offer promise of new investment, job growth, and revitalization.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Economic Development, Environment, Infrastructure, Rural Publication
Challenge and Hope in the North Country
Hit hard by the national decline in natural-resource and manufacturing jobs, North Country communities in northern New Hampshire and bordering areas of Maine and Vermont (Figure 1) continue to face challenges in restructuring their economies.1 A 2008 study classified Coös County, New Hampshire, and Oxford County, Maine, as “amenity/decline” regions, a common pattern in rural America where historically resource-dependent places experience decline in their traditional industries, even while natural amenities present new opportunities for growth in areas such as tourism or amenity-based in-migration. Complicating this transition, there is often out-migration of young adults seeking jobs and financial stability elsewhere, as new industries in rural areas tend toward seasonal employment or require different kinds of skills.2 In this brief, we report on a 2017 survey that asked North Country residents about their perceptions, hopes, and concerns regarding this region. Many of the same questions had been asked on earlier surveys in 2007 and 2010, providing a unique comparative perspective on what has changed or stayed much the same.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change, New Hampshire Community, Economic Development, Migration, New Hampshire, Public Opinion, Rural, Unemployment Publication
Challenges in Serving Rural American Children through the Summer Food Service Program
When the school year ends, many low-income children rely on the USDA's Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to supplement their diet. But less than one-third of SFSP sites are located in rural communities and rural children participate at a lower rate than those in more urban areas.
Socioeconomic Indicators and Datasets, Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Food Assistance, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net Publication
Child Poverty High in Rural America
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).
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Rural Publication
Child Poverty Higher and More Persistent in Rural America
The negative consequences of growing up in a poor family are well known. Poor children are less likely to have timely immunizations, have lower academic achievement, are generally less engaged in school activities, and face higher delinquency rates in adolescent years.1 Each of these has adverse impacts on their health, earnings, and family status in adulthood. Less understood is how the experience of poverty can differ depending on the community context. Being poor in a relatively well-off community with good infrastructure and schools is different from being poor in a place where poverty rates have been high for generations, where economic investment in schools and infrastructure is negligible, and where pathways to success are few.2 The hurdles are even higher in rural areas, where low population density, physical isolation, and the broad spatial distribution of the poor make service delivery and exposure to innovative programs more challenging. This brief looks at both the incidence of high child poverty (20 percent or greater) over the past three decades and at the places where such high child poverty has persisted for all of those decades (see Box 1 for definitions of high and persistent child poverty). Our analysis documents both that the incidence of high child poverty is growing nationwide and that rural America includes a disproportionate share of children living in counties characterized as having persistent high child poverty.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Rural Publication
Child Poverty in Rural America: New Data Shows Increases in 41 States
A study by the Carsey Institute, based on U.S. Census Bureau data, found that in forty-one states, a higher percentage of rural children live in poverty than did in 2000. While the national poverty level in 2006 was relatively stagnant compared to 2005's poverty level, the situation is clearly becoming worse for rural kids.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Low Income, Poverty, Rural Publication
Child Tax Credit Expansion Increases Number of Families Eligible for a Refund
The analysis shows that more than 500,000 rural families, or almost 9 percent of rural families, will become newly eligible for the Child Tax Credit under the expansion included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Within these families are an estimated 900,000 rural children. The proportion of urban families benefiting from the expanded Child Tax Credit is slightly lower than in rural areas, but only 5 percent of suburban families are newly eligible for the credit.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Employment, Rural, Safety Net, Tax, Urban Publication
Children in Central Cities and Rural Communities Experience High Rates of Poverty
New U.S. Census Bureau data released in August highlight increasing similarities of poverty rates between children in urban and rural communities. This common indicator of child well-being is closely linked to undesirable outcomes in areas such as health, education, emotional welfare, and delinquency.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Rural, Urban Publication
Civil Protective Orders Effective in Stopping or Reducing Partner Violence
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 community-specific barriers and differences such as hours of access, time it takes to obtain or serve an order, and access to information about the process.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Health, Rural, Urban, Women Publication
Community Strength and Economic Challenge: Civic Attitudes and Community Involvement in Rural America
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 advisor at the Carsey Institute, and Justin R. Young, a doctoral student in sociology, used data from the Community and Environment in Rural America (CERA) survey to highlight the variation in patterns of civic involvement across rural America.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Civic Attitudes, Community, Rural Publication
Concentrated Poverty Increased in Both Rural and Urban Areas Since 2000, Reversing Declines in the 1990s
The number of nonmetropolitan counties with high poverty rates increased between the 2000 Decennial Census and 2011–2015 (hereafter 2013) American Community Survey (ACS), and so did the share of the rural population residing in these disadvantaged areas. Over this time period, the percentage of rural counties with poverty rates of 20 percent or more increased from a fifth to nearly one-third, and the share of the rural population living in these places nearly doubled to over 31 percent. Levels of concentrated poverty increased substantially both before and after the Great Recession in rural areas, while increases in urban areas occurred mainly during years affected by the economic downturn (Box 1). Increases in county-level poverty rates were also concentrated in rural areas with small cities, and the share of the population residing in high-poverty counties increased much more among the non-Hispanic white and black populations in rural areas than among the rural Hispanic population.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Poverty, Rural, Urban Publication
Concentrated Rural Poverty and the Geography of Exclusion (Copub with Rural Realities)
One-half of rural poor are segregated in high-poverty areas, a new policy brief co-published by the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire and Rural Realities. This brief highlights the challenges faced by America's rural poor, particularly as they are physically and socially isolated from middle-class communities that might offer economic opportunities.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Poverty, Rural Publication
Data Snapshot: Both Rural and Urban SNAP Recipients Affected by Proposed Work Requirements
With the expiration of the current Farm Bill on September 30, 2018, the House and Senate are working in conference committee to reconcile their versions of its replacement. A major difference between the two is the House’s inclusion of a more intensive work requirement. By narrowing the parental work exemption to only those with children under age 6, and requiring recipients up to age 60 (rather than 50) to work, the proposed House bill would newly subject about 16 percent of SNAP recipients in rural and urban places alike to work requirements.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Food Assistance, Rural, Safety Net, Urban Publication
Data Snapshot: Declines in Child Poverty Continue in 2017
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 first time, rates in cities dipped below the pre-recession level, although poverty is still slightly higher in rural and suburban places than in 2007.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Rural, Urban Publication
Data Snapshot: SNAP Declines Continue in 2016, but Not for Rural Places
In 2016, 12.4 percent of households reported Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) receipt, down 0.4 percentage point from 2015. Similar declines in suburbs and cities drove the national decrease, but the 14.8 percent of rural households receiving SNAP did not significantly change between 2015 and 2016.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Food Assistance, Rural, Safety Net, Urban Publication