Category: Publication

Resource Category Topic Type
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
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
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
Building Trust, Increasing Safety: Assuring Mutual Understanding and Trust Between Community Members and Police Officers
Police and community members in the communities of Rochester, Durham, and Dover spent three hours in each location discussing how to encourage mutual understanding and trust between communities and police. Participants from law enforcement and individuals from local neighborhoods worked together to reframe community problems as social issues where both community members and police play a role in problem solving. Participants expressed a desire for police departments that are to be community oriented, culturally sensitive, and act with equity and accountability. In turn, the community should take responsibility to communicate with the police, act responsibly, and formally and informally mentor youth. Participants expressed a willingness to communicate, build relationships, and educate each other in order to accomplish goals of mutual understanding and trust in their communities.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Capital Markets, CDFIs, and Organizational Credit Risk
Can Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) get unlimited amounts of low cost, unsecured, short- and long-term funding from the capital markets based on their organizational credit risk? Can they get pricing, flexibility, and procedural parity with for-profit corporations of equivalent credit risk?
Center for Impact Finance Community Development Finance, Economic Development Publication
Carsey Perspective: Is the Poverty Rate 1.1 Percent?
Poverty in the United States is a multifaceted problem with causes as diverse as the 46.7 million people who live in it and solvable only through a suite of solutions.1 Those 46.7 million people constituted 14.8 percent of the population of the United States in 2014,2 which both shocks the conscience for such a wealthy country and suggests a challenge of intimidating magnitude. On the other hand, while the number of people is daunting, the dollar amount involved is less so. We estimate that those living in poverty in 2014 in the United States were $192 billion short of the poverty line. In other words, the sum total it would take to raise all poor families to the poverty line is $192 billion. That isn’t a small sum, of course. But it is only 1.1 percent of our nation’s $17.3 trillion of national income in 2014.3 Thus, while 14.8 percent of the population lives in poverty, to raise them out of poverty would require raising their income by only 1.1 percent of total national income. Figure 1 and 2 That’s not to say that there’s a magic wand to make this happen. Proposals to address poverty have been put forward from many quarters. They all deserve consideration on their merits, but resignation to the inevitability of poverty because of the magnitude of the problem is not a reason for inaction. After all, most other economically advanced countries have lower rates of poverty than the United States.4 So poverty in otherwise well-off nations is not a foregone conclusion. One additional note: of the $192 billion in income increase that’s needed, $160 billion is needed in metropolitan areas, $30 billion in rural areas. Methodology Data for this project are from the 2015 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) of the Current Population Survey (CPS). All income questions in the ASEC refer to 2014, the most recent year for which data are available. The ASEC is conducted every March and is the source of the U.S. Census Bureau’s official poverty estimates. The official poverty measure (OPM) is a family-level construct. Total family income is compared to a poverty threshold based on family size and number of children. Families with total incomes below their assigned threshold are considered poor, or in poverty. If a family is categorized as poor, then all people in the family are considered poor.5
Vulnerable Families Research Program Poverty Publication
Carsey Perspectives: Bridging Farm and Table: The ‘Harvest to Market’ Innovation
Buying food locally is a goal to which many consumers aspire. Local produce is likely to be fresher than food shipped from hundreds or thousands of miles away, less shipping means less reliance on fossil fuels, and local farmers receive the benefits of local spending. But what makes sense in theory can be difficult in practice. Try, for example, to find and purchase a locally grown carrot. In the traditional food system, local farmers and buyers have trouble connecting. A consumer seeking to check off a lengthy shopping list with local produce will have to identify and then travel to many farms, since most farms produce only a few types of food. Farmers have few marketing resources, and a farmer’s base of individual customers tends to be restricted to the most conscientious buyers who live within a reasonable driving distance. In the end, many small farmers resort to typical distribution channels that involve numerous levels of shipping, processing, and handling, and the consumer buys at the supermarket. One result of our reliance on this food distribution system, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Dollar Series, is that only 17.2 cents of every dollar spent on a farmer’s produce goes to the farmer. Harvest to Market is a new online platform that makes it easier for small farmers to sell their products directly to local consumers.
Changemaker Collaborative Entrepreneurship Publication
Carsey Perspectives: Children in United States, Both White and Black, Are Growing Up in Dramatically Smaller Families
African American children are growing up in dramatically smaller families than they were 50 years ago.1 At a postwar peak in 1960, the average black child was one of 6.53 siblings, but today he or she is one of 3.18 (see Box 1). This measure has also dropped, but less dramatically, for the average white child, for whom “sibsize” was 4.1 in 1960 and today is 2.93.2 When we compare children of poorly educated and well-educated mothers, whatever their race, we find a similar pattern of falling sibsize and reduced differences in sibsize over the past 50 years.3 Because large families must spread their resources among their children, these declines, especially among the less well-off, enable families to devote more resources to each child and are likely to have transformed children’s lives in a positive and egalitarian direction.4 This change is also likely to have had important implications for trends in poverty, though these implications have not been examined. Children in small families benefit simply by virtue of having limited resources divided fewer ways. As such, declining average sibsize since the mid-20th century is an important development in the United States. The drop in the number of siblings also raises a key question: is falling sibsize offsetting some of the harmful effects on children of the transition from two-parent families to single-parent families? This latter change has been widely noted and has caused great concern.5 The share of 8- and 9-year-old children whose father is absent from the family home has risen from 6 percent in 1960 to 22 percent in 2012 among whites and from 24 percent to 59 percent among blacks (see Box 2). At the same time, however, the share of 8- and 9-year-olds with sibsizes of five or more has fallen from 60 percent to 18 percent among blacks and from 27 percent to 9 percent among whites. Was it more challenging for children in the 1960s to grow up with two resident parents and many siblings than it is for children today to grow up with one resident parent and fewer siblings? This is a key question to ask in assessing what role family change has played in shaping the course of social inequality in America over the past half-century. Note: In this brief, Hispanics may be of either race, and we have not analyzed Hispanic sibsize trends separately. See the discussion in the concluding paragraphs.
Demography, Vulnerable Families Research Program African Americans, Demography Publication
Carsey Perspectives: Innovative Financing for Community Businesses
Business owners seeking to start or expand a small business have limited options for financing. They can go to a bank for a loan, but they may have trouble qualifying for the loan due to the age of the business, absence of collateral, lack of equity in the business, thin margins, or other factors. While online business lenders may offer faster response times and lower underwriting hurdles, they often do so in exchange for exorbitant rates and reduced ability to customize their financing or add broader value to the business beyond the money. Business owners could try going to venture capitalists for equity, but venture capitalists and angel investors will demand some control over the company and need an exit strategy, generally requiring that the company be sold. The company might also not have a fast enough growth curve to interest a venture capitalist. Raising money through a crowdfunding platform, such as Kickstarter, is another option. But until recently, crowdfunding has been limited to raising donations, not investments, through such strategies.
Center for Impact Finance Community Development Finance, Income Publication
Carsey Perspectives: Local Owners Driving Lasting Solutions
As outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, there is an urgent need for mechanisms that effectively scale proven interventions for tackling some of humanity’s toughest challenges (United Nations 2015). While there are exemplary models that have proven to be highly effective, there are relatively few examples that have achieved large-scale replication.
Changemaker Collaborative Community Development, Economic Development, Employment, Entrepreneurship Publication