Category: Publication

Resource Category Topic Type
Accomplishments, Challenges, and Lessons Learned: 2010 - 2015
This report summarizes the work of NH Listens since our inception over five years ago. The report is organized around the core elements of our three-part mission, which are to create engaged community conversations on local and statewide issues, to serve as a resource and support network for new Local Listens groups, and to cultivate a network of facilitators for public engagement and action.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Affordability Challenges Drive Food Insufficiency in the Pandemic
In this data snapshot, authors Jess Carson and Sarah Boege find that getting food is a problem for people experiencing food insufficiency during the pandemic, but affording food is the biggest challenge.
COVID-19, Vulnerable Families Research Program COVID-19, Food Assistance, Low Income, Poverty Publication
After a Parent Left Employment, One in Five Children Lost Private Insurance
Parental job loss is an important trigger for a child’s loss of private health insurance.1 For example, research shows that parental loss of full-time employment doubles the odds that a child will lose private health insurance.2 Until the 1990s, substantial numbers of children lacked health insurance, but with the enactment of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 1997, followed by changes to Medicaid and CHIP’s 2009 reauthorization, children’s health insurance coverage was expanded through broader eligibility, enrollment simplifications, and outreach efforts.3 From 1997 to 2012, the share of children without insurance fell from 14 percent to 7 percent.4 The growth of public coverage for children notwithstanding, private coverage is still the primary form of children’s health insurance. In 2014, 59 percent of children received coverage from private health insurance.5 But coverage has become less consistent for some children, due to an overall decline in employer-provided private-sector coverage, an increase in switching between public and private sources, and low public health insurance renewal rates.6 Even brief gaps in health insurance produce adverse consequences for children, including fewer medical provider visits over the course of a year, the loss of a primary health care provider, difficulty getting preventive and specialized medical care, and the increased use of emergency department and inpatient hospital visits.7 Loss of employer-based coverage leads to instability in health insurance, gaps in coverage, and more unmet health care needs.8 This brief focuses on children’s loss of private health insurance after a parent left his or her job voluntarily or involuntarily between May 2008 and the end of 2012 (see Box 1 for definitions). The number of uninsured children declined steadily throughout this period,9 and experts project that some of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 will foster a continued decline in the percentages of children without health insurance over the long term.10 For most of the period under study, many ACA provisions that have likely served to expand coverage—the mandate that persons obtain health insurance, the state option to expand Medicaid to reach more families, the provision of federal subsidies to purchase coverage, and the ACA requirement for states to transition coverage of children up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line from CHIP to Medicaid—had not yet gone into effect. But since most children are still covered under private health insurance plans, the majority of which are linked to the parents’ employment, understanding the relationship and the characteristics of children who are unlikely to remain covered after a parent leaves his or her job may help identify ways to preserve consistency in coverage. For example, health care providers, administrators, and policy makers can keep watch to ensure that eligible children are quickly connected with public sources of coverage.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Employment, Health Insurance, Hispanics, Unemployment Publication
After Great Recession, More Married Fathers Providing Child Care
The U.S. economy lost 8.7 million jobs between December 2007 and January 2010.1 Sixty-nine percent of the jobs lost during the recession were held by men, 2 and the employment rate of married fathers (whether working full or part time) with employed wives decreased from 92 percent in 2005 to 88 percent in 2011.3 The large job losses and persistently high unemployment from the Great Recession and its aftermath prompted families to adapt to financial hardship and reallocate fathers’ and mothers’ time spent in the labor force and in the home.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Employment, Family, Unemployment Publication
After the Bell
Research on narrowing the academic achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth tends to focus on the inputs provided by schools. Little attention, however, is paid to extracurricular activities, both structured and unstructured, even though extracurricular participation and employment can have positive impacts similar to in-school experiences. Such activities keep adolescents engaged during high-risk hours, and consistent participation is linked to improved academic achievement and prosocial behaviors.1 Extracurricular activities are also influential in the college admissions process as well as in healthy development and academic success.2 This brief uses data from the 2012 National Survey of Children’s Health to examine involvement in activities among youth ages 12–18 across income categories and metropolitan status3 in the hopes of informing policy aimed at attenuating inequalities in participation. While not a complete profile of youth activities (time spent on homework, care of younger siblings, or housework, for example, are not included), determining participation rates helps us understand what youth are doing in their out-of-school hours and how these activities vary by income and metropolitan status. Access to extracurricular activities and employment is growing more unequal,4 and as a result lower-income youth may be increasingly disadvantaged compared to middle- and upper-income children.5 See Box 1: Definitions.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education, Young Adults Publication
After Years of Decline, Private Health Insurance Rates Among Children Grew in 2014
Rates of private health insurance coverage for children increased between 2013 and 2014 for the first time since 2008, the first year in which the American Community Survey collected data on health insurance (see Figure 1). The rise corresponds with the implementation of the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the opening of state and federal insurance exchanges, and an improving employment market. Between 2008 and 2014 (the most recent data), rates of children’s coverage grew nearly 4 percentage points; to 94 percent. Growth in public insurance, such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), was largely responsible for these gains (up 10.8 percentage points since 2008), while rates of private insurance coverage fell concurrently (down 5.6 percentage points). But between 2013 and 2014, the combined rise in public coverage (0.8 percentage points) and private coverage (0.4 percentage points) produced the second-largest overall gain—1.1 percentage points—in children’s insurance rates in the seven-year span. The largest increase—1.4 percentage points—occurred between 2008 and 2009 when Congress and the Obama Administration reauthorized CHIP. Private insurance rates rose most in the rural Midwest and South as well as in Western cities in 2014, while public insurance grew most significantly in suburban places in the Northeast, South, and West.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Health Insurance Publication
Age and Lifecycle Patterns Driving U.S. Migration Shifts
Migration—people moving between locations—is now driving much of the demographic change occurring in the United States. In this brief, authors Kenneth Johnson, Richelle Winkler, and Luke Rogers share new research on age-related migration patterns to provide a fuller understanding of the complex patterns of demographic change in the United States.
Demography Demography, Migration, Young Adults Publication
All Walks of Life: A Statewide Conversation on Mental Health
On November 14th, 2013, a consortium of organizations and interests sponsored All Walks of Life: A Statewide Conversation on Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Over 300 New Hampshire residents met in six different locations across the state to talk about their priorities, concerns, and ideas regarding mental health and substance abuse in New Hampshire. At the outset, the goals of this conversation were related both nationally and statewide.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Although Child Poverty Declined in 2014, Persistent Racial and Ethnic Disadvantages Remain
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 recent drop. Similarly, declines are generally evident across place type and region, and for both young children (under age 6) and older children (age 12–17). In this brief, we discuss changes in child poverty between 2013 and 2014 and since 2009, just after the Great Recession ended. We next explore racial-ethnic variation in child poverty in the United States, paying particular attention to patterns by Census region as well as by child age and place type (rural, suburban, city residence). Additionally, we look at how the racial-ethnic composition of poor children compares to that of nonpoor children. Finally, we consider which racial and ethnic groups are, on average, deepest in poverty, with the biggest gap between family income and the poverty threshold. Changes Between 2013 and 2014 Child poverty declined modestly between 2013 and 2014, from 22.3 percent to 21.7 percent (see Table 1), and roughly 400,000 fewer children across the United States lived in poverty in 2014. Yet more than one in five children still live in families with incomes below the official poverty threshold: $24,008 for a family of two adults and two children in 2014 (see Box 1).1 Child poverty declined in all place types, with the largest decline in rural America, where the rate fell by a full percentage point. Poverty also declined among young children (0.9 percentage point) and in all regions except the Northeast (where child poverty remained constant), with the largest declines in the West (0.8 percentage point). Those in the other race/multiracial category experienced the largest declines (1.1 percentage points), followed by Hispanics and Asians (0.7 percentage point each), blacks and non-Hispanic whites (0.6 percentage point each).
Vulnerable Families Research Program African Americans, Children, Poverty Publication
An Older Population Increases Estimated COVID-19 Death Rates in Rural America
In this brief, author Kenneth Johnson estimates the influence that the local age structure has on coronavirus death rates among those exposed to it in rural and urban counties in the United States.
COVID-19, Demography COVID-19, Demography, Health, Rural, Seniors, Urban Publication
April Unemployment Data Do Not Indicate Benefits Are Keeping Workers Home
The employment data for April 2021 have elevated the question of whether the availability of unemployment benefits at higher levels during the COVID-19 economic crisis is keeping workers at home. Today’s state-by-state data release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics offers one piece of evidence that this is not the case.
COVID-19 COVID-19, Employment, Wages Publication
Archived: COVID-19 Economic Crisis by State – Through July 2021
Archived report through July 2021: With the strongest national job growth yet in 2021 and 38 states seeing statistically significant employment increases, July continued recent encouraging trends for the country’s economic trajectory. Despite this, all but two states are still short of their February 2020 employment levels. Nationally, payroll employment is still down 5.7 million jobs—a 3.7 percent shortfall—from February 2020.
COVID-19 COVID-19, Economy, Employment, Unemployment Publication
Are New Hampshire’s Winters Warming?
In this brief, authors Elizabeth Burakowski and Lawrence Hamilton review some basic evidence about winter warming in New Hampshire, explore to what extent state residents are aware of this trend, and ask who is aware, in terms of characteristics such as age, education, or participation in winter sports.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change, New Hampshire Climate Change, Environment, New Hampshire, Public Opinion Publication
As Opioid Use Climbs, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Rises in New Hampshire
The opioid crisis besetting every region of the United States directly affects more than just those who use substances. For a pregnant woman, a consequence of substance use can be neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)—withdrawal symptoms experienced by the newborn (see Box 1).
Vulnerable Families Research Program Drugs, Family, Health, New Hampshire, Substance Abuse 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
Behavioral Finance of Impact Investing
Donor-advised funds present a unique opportunity to promote impact investing into the local community, including Community Development Financial Institutions that serve their local communities.
Center for Impact Finance Community Development Finance, Economic Development Publication
Behind at the Starting Line
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 due to Hispanic births, not immigration.1 Fertility represents a large second-order effect of past and current immigration. The often unappreciated impact of U.S.-born Hispanic infants on population growth raises an important policy question: Do Hispanic infants start life’s race behind the starting line, poor and disadvantaged? The question of whether Hispanic infants start life at an economic disadvantage has broad policy implications. Poverty at birth threatens childhood development trajectories, later academic achievement, transitions to productive adult roles, and, ultimately, incorporation into the economic, social, and political mainstream.2 Nor is this just a highly localized concern in a few traditional Hispanic settlement areas, because Hispanics are now widely distributed geographically. America’s Hispanic population has dispersed from established gateways in the Southwest and a few large urban cores to new destinations throughout the Southeast, the Pacific Northwest, and the agricultural heartland.3 Most Hispanics continue to reside in metropolitan areas, where they accounted for nearly 55 percent of recent population gains. Yet, Hispanic growth has had even greater impacts in rural America. A burgeoning Hispanic population accounted for two-thirds of the rural population gain, though Hispanics represented less than 7 percent of the population in 2010. In many rural areas, Hispanics provide a demographic lifeline to dying small towns. Births account for a growing share of the Hispanic population increase: nearly 25 percent of all U.S. births are now to Hispanics. Our focus here is on the question of how many Hispanic infants begin their lives in poverty. In our previous research, we demonstrated that the growing proportion of U.S. births that are Hispanic is causing America to become more diverse from youngest to oldest.4 Diversity as well as economic incorporation are occurring from the “bottom up”—beginning with infants and children. Here we examine the comparative economic circumstances of Hispanics but, unlike previous studies, we place the emphasis squarely on infants. The period in utero and during early infancy is especially critical for brain development and later cognitive, emotional, and physical outcomes. Poor infants also face clear developmental disadvantages that persist into adulthood.5 In the absence of upward socioeconomic mobility, childhood poverty contributes to poverty in adulthood, a statistical fact that will take on special significance if intergenerational mobility declines and inequality grows.6
Vulnerable Families Research Program Birth Rates, Children, Demography, Hispanics Publication
Beliefs about Development Versus Environmental Tradeoffs in the Puget Sound Region
Using data from a phone survey of 1,980 Puget Sound residents conducted in 2012, this fact sheet outlines residents’ views about the importance of environmental protection as well as their opinions about energy development, protection of wild salmon, and land use regulation.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Community Development, Economic Development, Environment, Public Opinion 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
Biden’s Victory Due to Increased Support Along the Entire Rural-Urban Continuum
Joseph Biden won the 2020 presidential election because Democratic support increased across the entire rural–urban continuum. The incremental gains at each point along the continuum were modest, but in a tightly contested election small changes in the vote matter.
Demography Demography, Politics and Elections, Rural, Urban Publication