Category: Rural

Resource Category Topic Type
Measures and Methods: Four Tenets for Rural Economic Development in the New Economy
Rural communities working to find strategies for success in today's economy need to rethink the tools they are using. Brown-Graham is the executive director of the Institute for Emerging Issues and a policy fellow at the Carsey Institute. William Lambe is the associate director at the Community and Economic Development Program at the School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Community, Community Development, Economic Development, Rural Publication
Middle-Skill Jobs Remain More Common Among Rural Workers
This issue brief uses data from the Current Population Survey collected from 2003 to 2012 to assess trends in employment in middle-skill jobs and the Great Recession’s impact on middle-skill workers, with particular attention paid to differences between those in rural and urban places.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Rural, Urban Publication
More Poor Kids in More Poor Places: Children Increasingly Live Where Poverty Persists
The authors of this brief examine child poverty rates using decennial census data from 1980, 1990, and 2000, as well as American Community Survey five-year estimates between 2005 and 2009, to identify those counties where child poverty has persisted. They find persistent child poverty in nearly twice as many U.S. counties as those that report high persistent poverty across all age groups. In all, 342 counties have experienced persistently high levels of poverty across all age groups during the past twenty-nine years. In contrast, more than 700 counties experienced persistent child poverty over the same period. Rural areas are disproportionately likely to have persistent high child poverty; 81 percent of counties with persistent child poverty are nonmetropolitan while only 65 percent of all U.S. counties are nonmetropolitan. Overall, 26 percent of rural children reside in counties whose poverty rates have been persistently high. This compares with 12 percent of urban children. Counties with persistent child poverty cluster in Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta, other areas of the Southeast, parts of the Southwest, and in the Great Plains. The authors comment that the overwhelming urban focus of welfare programs means policymakers often overlook needy families in rural areas. In addition to the high unemployment and low education levels that they document in the brief, the physical and social isolation associated with rural poverty create problems different from those in densely settled urban areas. They conclude that the reductions in government spending likely to result from the Great Recession, coupled with two decades of the devolution of policymaking responsibility from the federal to the state level (and occasionally to municipal governments), may have significant implications for children and fragile families in these persistently poor rural counties.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net, Urban Publication
More Than One in Ten American Households Relies on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
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 across the United States since the recession began in 2007 and considers the impact of legislation in the Congress on those who rely on SNAP to make ends meet.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Food Assistance, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net Publication
New Immigrant Settlements in Rural America: Problems, Prospects, and Policies
Regions of rural America are being reshaped by growing numbers of immigrants who are choosing small-town life over the bright lights of the big city. This study found that immigrant settlers may have a big impact on small, rural communities—sometimes straining resources but also offering promise for reinvigorating dying communities.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Community, Economic Development, Immigration, Rural Publication
New, Longer Road to Adulthood: Schooling, Work, and Idleness among Rural Youth, The
This report focuses on the education and work experiences of rural youth during the emerging adult years (age 20 to 24), as they make the transition from adolescence to adulthood. It documents how rural emerging adults combine work and school and experience idleness, closely examines their educational attainment, and compares their experiences with those in central city and suburban areas.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education, Employment, Rural, Urban, Young Adults Publication
No Place Like Home: Place and Community Identity Among North Country Youth
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 themselves and their futures, particularly for youth in the process of forming an identity. The study reveals the importance of developing community programs and activities for youth that create social ties to form a positive identification with the place they live and consequently improve their self-esteem and the likelihood for staying or returning to their communities in later adulthood.
New Hampshire, Vulnerable Families Research Program Community, Coös Youth Study, New Hampshire, Rural, Young Adults Publication
Ocean Views: Coastal Environmental Problems as Seen by Downeast Maine Residents
This brief contends that loss of fishing jobs and income is the top environment-related concern among residents of Maine's Hancock and Washington counties, as well as forestry decline and water pollution. Also of note, across a wide range of environmental issues, political party affiliation is associated with level of concern about environmental problems.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Environment, New England, Public Opinion, Rural Publication
Out-of-Home Care by State and Place: Higher Placement Rates for Children in Some Remote Rural Places
This fact sheet examines out-of-home placement rates for children removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. The data finds that children in remote rural areas have overall higher rates of out-of-home placements. It also provides data on placement rates by rural or urban status to help inform policy makers as they discuss the child welfare system.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Family, Health, Rural Publication
Over 3 Million Low-Income Children in Rural Areas Face Cut in Child Tax Credit if Recovery Act Improvement Expires
According to this new research, at the end of 2010, the Child Tax Credit improvements that were included in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will expire if Congress does not extend them. If this happens, low-income working families across America will be affected.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net, Tax Publication
Parental Substance Use in New Hampshire
Hidden in the shadows of New Hampshire’s opioid epidemic are the children who live with their parents’ addiction every day. They fall behind in school as the trouble at home starts to dominate their lives, they make the 911 calls, they are shuttled about to live with relatives or in foster care, and they face an uncertain future when their parents can no longer care for them.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Drugs, Rural, Substance Abuse, Urban Publication
Population Growth in New Hispanic Destinations
Natural increase—more births than deaths—is now the major engine of Hispanic population growth in many large metro areas and their suburbs, as well as numerous smaller metropolitan areas and rural communities. Hispanics now account for half of U.S. population growth, and Hispanic population growth is the reason many communities grew instead of declined.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Hispanics, Mortality, Race, Rural, Urban Publication
Proposed EITC Expansion Would Increase Eligibility and Dollars for Rural and Urban “Childless” Workers
This brief uses data from the 2013 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey to examine how President Obama’s proposed expanded eligibility and higher credit values might affect tax filers in both rural and urban America.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Employment, Rural, Safety Net, Tax, Urban Publication
Race, Class, and Community in a Southern Forest-Dependent Region
Based on a Community and Environment in Rural America survey, this brief looks at four counties in Alabama. It finds blacks and whites have different outcomes in the community, despite expectations of regional stability and greater equality. Though they reported similar rates of social mobility, African Americans in the "Black Belt" of Alabama are disproportionately poorer and employed in lower-skill jobs than whites.
Vulnerable Families Research Program African Americans, Community, Public Opinion, Race, Rural 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
Red Rural, Blue Rural
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 in rural America, but there are important enclaves of Democratic strength there as well. In “battleground” states, these rural differences may have a significant impact on tightly contested elections. Rural Is Red With Pockets of Blue The political divisions between urban and rural America are well documented. Democrats count on a strong performance in cities to offset a poor performance outside of them. The political divisions within rural America are less well understood. The growing political diversity of rural America is evident when counties dominated by the old and new rural economy are compared. For instance, voters who reside in areas dominated by the “old rural economy,” exemplified by farming, strongly favor Republican presidential candidates. In contrast, rural areas dominated by the “new rural economy,” based on recreation, amenities, and services, have become critical pockets of strength for Democratic presidential candidates. These partisan differences remain even after controlling for demographic factors and the North–South split.
Demography Demography, Politics and Elections, Rural 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
Religion, Politics, and the Environment in Rural America
Reflecting the heterogeneous nature of rural America, rural Americans are divided primarily along religious lines on their perspectives of environmental conservation and climate change. And as rural voters and environmental issues become key issues in the upcoming presidential election, this religious divide presents a challenge to political candidates.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Environment, Politics and Elections, Public Opinion, Religion, Rural 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
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