Category: Publication

Resource Category Topic Type
Drier Conditions, More Wildfire, and Heightened Concerns About Forest Management in Eastern Oregon
In eastern Oregon, a semi-arid region dominated by dry forest, warming over the past few decades is affecting the productivity and health of forests that are central to the region’s landscapes, economy, and culture. A warmer and drier climate will likely bring more frequent and severe wildfires and increase stress on water availability. The impacts will be significant both for natural resources and human welfare, especially in the Blue Mountains and adjacent communities. Public opinion surveys in this region show that recognition of human-caused climate change is low, but there is a high level of agreement that forest conditions are worsening and that wildfires pose a major risk. Support is high for active forest management (forest thinning, surface fuel reduction) and restoration to reduce the likelihood of dangerous, high-severity wildfires.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Climate Change, Environment, Forests Publication
Drug Overdose Rates Are Highest in Places With the Most Economic and Family Distress
The U.S. drug overdose problem has reached epidemic levels, prompting President Trump to declare a public health emergency. Since 2000, 786,781 people in the United States have died from drug overdoses and other drug-related causes, with nearly 40 percent of those deaths occurring in the last three years alone.
Demography Drugs, Family, Mortality, Substance Abuse Publication
Drugs, Alcohol, and Suicide Represent Growing Share of U.S. Mortality
Americans are killing themselves at an alarming rate. Nationwide, the mortality rate1, from drug poisoning, alcohol poisoning, and suicide increased by 52 percent between 2000 and 2014. Most of this increase was driven by a surge in prescription opioid and heroin overdoses, but overdoses from other drugs, suicides by means other than drugs, and alcohol-induced deaths also increased over this period. Between 2010 and 2014, drugs, alcohol, or suicide were the underlying cause of death for 537,000 people and were contributing factors in an additional 133,000 deaths.2 Especially striking is that mortality from drugs, alcohol, and suicide has increased during a period of declining mortality for other major causes of death, including diabetes, heart disease, most cancers, and motor vehicle accidents.3 Not all demographic groups are at equal risk of drug, alcohol, and suicide mortality. The highest rates are among young and middle-aged non-Hispanic white males,4 especially those in nonmetropolitan areas. All three types of mortality increased among white males and females from 2000 to 2014, but drug-induced causes produced the largest mortality increases (Figure 1). White males have the highest combined mortality rate for the three causes, but the combined rate for white females increased the most (by 123 percent). Hispanic females also experienced increases in all three causes of death, but their rates remained far lower than those for both white males and females. Drug and alcohol mortality actually declined among Hispanic males, though Hispanic males continue to have higher alcohol-induced mortality rates than white males. Hispanics are more likely than whites to abstain from drinking alcohol, but Hispanics who do drink consume alcohol in larger quantities and drink more often than whites.5 Although black male drug and alcohol mortality rates exceeded those of white males in the early 2000s, by the end of the decade the rates for black males had declined and were lower than those for white males. Rates for black females are low and relatively stable.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Drugs, Health, Substance Abuse Publication
Early Childhood Community Engagement: How can New Hampshire be the best place for all children and their families to play, learn, and grow?
In the first few years of a child’s life, hundreds of neural connections form in the brain. When children engage with and receive thoughtful responses from adults, they form strong relationships that bolster healthy growth. Creating conditions (in the home, at school/child care, and in the community) that promote robust brain development and reduce toxic stress early on is likely to be more effective and less costly than healing the effects of adverse experiences later in life. Families of all backgrounds and incomes can benefit from carefully woven supports across public and private services that foster strong starts for children, spanning prenatal wellness to early learning and family engagement.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Education in Chronically Poor Rural Areas Lags Across Generations
As part of the Community and Environment in Rural America (CERA) initiative, the Carsey Institute has been investigating broad trends between rural community types, including the education level of residents and their parents. Since 2007, Carsey researchers have conducted over 17,000 telephone surveys with randomly selected adult Americans from twelve diverse rural locations to ask about both their own and their parents’ educational attainment, as well as their perceptions of school quality in their communities. Survey results conclude that educational achievement varies significantly by type of place in rural America. In chronically poor rural areas, 45 percent of residents have completed only high school or less, compared with 22 to 33 percent in amenity-rich, amenity-transition, and declining resource-dependent rural areas. Although people from all types of rural communities generally have more education than their parents, those in chronically poor rural areas still have relatively low education levels — a disadvantage that persists across generations. This brief highlights the need to invest in the educational systems of chronically poor rural areas where generations of underinvestment have contributed to persistent poverty.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education, Public Opinion, Rural Publication
EITC is Vital for Working-Poor Families in Rural America
In the 2004 tax year, tax filers claimed almost $40 billion through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), making the EITC one of the largest federal programs that provides cash supports to low-income working families in the United States. The EITC is especially important to rural families throughout the United States. Among poor and near-poor families, those in rural areas are more likely to be working, and they are more likely to be working in low-wage jobs.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net, Tax Publication
Employment Income Drops in More Low-Income Than High-Income Households in All States
Low-wage workers are being hit much harder in the COVID-19 economic crisis than higher wage workers. This is evident in the much greater job loss in lower wage industries than higher wage industries.
COVID-19 COVID-19, Employment, Public Opinion, Unemployment, Wages Publication
Employment Rates Higher Among Rural Mothers Than Urban Mothers
As men's jobs in traditional rural industries, such as agriculture, natural resource extraction, and manufacturing disappear due to restructuring of rural labor markets, the survival of the family increasingly depends on women's waged labor. Rural mothers with children under age 6 have higher employment rates than their urban counterparts but have higher poverty rates, lower wages, and lower family income, placing rural mothers and their children in a more economically vulnerable situation than urban mothers.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Employment, Family, Rural, Urban, Women Publication
Employment, Poverty, and Public Assistance in the Rural United States
When asked to describe the rural United States, people usually mention serene and sprawling farmlands, rolling hills, open spaces, and safe, idyllic communities in which to raise children.1 Although there are a lot of acres in rural America, just 6 percent of rural workers depend on agriculture. Twenty-two percent depend on manufacturing,2 and the rest work in retail, sales, health care, construction, transportation, banking, services, tourist industries, and government—similar to their counterparts in cities and suburbs.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Poverty, Rural Publication
Enduring Ties to Community and Nature: Charting an Alternative Future for Southeast Alaska
Like much of rural America, Southeast Alaska is confronting the social implications of both population declines and the downturn in natural resource-based industries. Although many residents have chosen to leave Alaska in the last decade, the majority have stayed. Strong social cohesion and intimate ties to the natural amenities of the region are what sustain rural Alaskans. It is these connections to people and place that may ultimately enable residents to create renewed and more resilient Alaskan communities. Examining the challenges faced by Southeast Alaska, this brief discusses ways to encourage community groups and governmental agencies to work collaboratively to craft a robust economic future for the region.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change, Demography Community, Demography, Environment Publication
Environmental, Economic, and Social Changes in Rural America Visible in Survey Data and Satellite Images
This brief focuses on the changing landscapes of different types of rural America where social, economic, and ecological changes are occurring over large areas: the Northern Forest, Central Appalachia, and the Pacific Northwest. These three study sites embody varying historical reliance on land and natural resources and represent very different socioeconomic dynamics. Their common and unique challenges are explored, along with the far-reaching implications of land-cover change in their areas. Data used includes both telephone surveys and satellite imagery to illustrate the unique changes seen in rural America in recent years. (Please note that it is best to print this brief in color.)
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Environment, Forests, Rural Publication
Exclusionary Discipline Highest in New Hampshire’s Urban Schools
Exclusionary school discipline—that is, suspension and expulsion—disproportionately affects already disadvantaged students on both the national and state levels. In New Hampshire, students attending larger urban schools, male students, students of color, students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, students with disabilities, and homeless students are more likely to experience exclusionary school discipline, although racial disparities appear to stem largely from the greater racial diversity at the urban schools that use this type of discipline at higher rates with all students. Previous research indicates that exclusionary discipline and the resulting loss of classroom time is associated with poorer academic outcomes. Therefore, regardless of the precipitates of exclusionary discipline, it is worth exploring the extent to which exclusionary discipline is experienced among New Hampshire students. Introduction Exclusionary school discipline refers to any school disciplinary practice that isolates students from their classroom environments. In-school suspension (ISS), out-of-school suspension (OSS), and expulsion are all forms of exclusionary discipline. Nationally, in the 2009–2010 school year, approximately 7.4 percent of all public school students in kindergarten through grade 12 were suspended at least once, which translates to well over three million students.1 Not all students have an equal likelihood of experiencing exclusionary discipline; it is administered to students of color,2 students with disabilities,3 homeless students,4 students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch (FRL),5 6 male students,7 and students attending urban schools8 at increasing and disproportionate rates.
New Hampshire, Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, New Hampshire, Urban Publication
Experience of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund in Mainstreaming of Acquisition Loans to Cooperative Manufactured Housing Communities, The
This study aimed to provide evidence of the extent to which a financial product―land acquisition loans for manufactured home parks―performed well and was adopted by mainstream financial institutions. The study hypothesized that The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s effective introduction of the new loan product, coupled with excellent loan performance, led banks to adopt the loan product.
Evaluation, New Hampshire Economic Development, Housing, New Hampshire Publication
Eyes Off the Earth?
Survey researchers have observed significant political divisions in the United States with regard to public trust of science related to evolution, the environment, vaccines, genetically modified organisms, and other topics. Conservatives are less likely than moderates or liberals to say they trust scientists for information on any of these topics.1 Some of the widest divisions involve climate change, an area where the Trump administration and conservatives in Congress have proposed steep reductions in research. For example, the president’s detailed budget proposal in May 2017 calls for cuts to the Earth science and education programs of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), including termination of five Earth-viewing missions such as the DSCOVR satellite instruments which produced the image in Figure 1.2 Congressional efforts have also often targeted NASA Earth science.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Climate Change, Environment, Politics and Elections, Trust Publication
Facial Recognition and Drivers’ Licenses
In this brief, authors Daniel Bromberg, Étienne Charbonneau, and Andrew Smith present the findings of a 2017 Granite State Poll asking New Hampshire residents how they feel about the Department of Motor Vehicles sharing their driver’s license photos with the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
New Hampshire New Hampshire, Public Opinion Publication
Facilitating Vulnerability and Power in New Hampshire Listen’s “Blue and You ”
This study examines the on-going work of New Hampshire Listens, a convener of deliberative conversations, specific to their work with police-community relationships. Attending particularly to the facilitators and planners of New Hampshire "Blue and You" in a small city, the study found systemic practices of early stakeholder involvement in the planning, holding space for disparate views, promoting storytelling, and creating intimate physical spaces addressed the vulnerability felt by participants. These practices distributed power among stakeholders, aided in preparing participants for the conversation, and fostered neutrality in the forum. They provide several ideas for ho
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Families Continue to Rely on Wives As Breadwinners Post-Recession
This brief presents an analysis of the increased role employed wives played in family economic stability prior to, during, and after the Great Recession, focusing on changes in the contribution of employed wives’ earnings to family earnings by state, region, metropolitan areas, and nonmetro residence.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Income Publication
Family-Friendly Policies for Rural Working Mothers
For working parents, family friendly work policies like paid sick days, flexible time, or medical insurance can reduce work-family conflict and lead to less absenteeism and higher productivity. Working parents in rural America, however, have less access to these policies than their urban counterparts.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Rural, Urban, Women Publication
Federal Child Nutrition Programs are Important to Rural Households
This brief, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, examines how rural families use four of the major federal child nutrition programs. It finds that 29 percent of rural families with children participate but that there are barriers to these nutrition programs, such as the lack of public transportation and high operating costs for rural schools and child care programs.
Evaluation, Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Food Assistance, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net Publication
Federal EITC Kept 2 Percent of the Population Out of Poverty
This brief documents the proportion of Americans who would have been poor absent the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), all else being equal, across 2010–2014. We examine Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) rates as well as hypothetical increases in the rates of SPM poverty in the absence of federal EITC benefits. It is important to note that we do not model behavioral changes that might result from the removal of EITC benefits, so the analyses presented here are a simplified representation of such a hypothetical scenario. The SPM is an obvious choice for this analysis because unlike the Official Poverty Measure (OPM), which only accounts for before-tax cash income, the SPM also considers in-kind benefits, tax credits, and out-of-pocket work and medical expenses when estimating resources. We present SPM rates for all individuals (Table 1) as well as for children only (Table 2), analyzing trends across regions, metropolitan status, and by state. Importantly, geographic differences in the cost of housing are accounted for in the SPM rates, and consequently the analyses presented here give a more accurate sense of the poverty reducing impact of EITC benefits.1 Data This brief consists of a pooled sample using the Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) between the years of 2011–2015. The CPS ASEC is sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Census Bureau, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), providing annual income, migration, benefits, and insurance information for a nationally representative sample of Americans. The CPS uses a tax model calculator to simulate tax income instead of collecting tax information directly from respondents. Payroll taxes for individuals with earned income are simulated first, and then tax-filing units are estimated based on marital status and household relationship structure. Once the potential tax-filing units have been determined, state and federal taxes and credits are simulated for each unit (for more information, see https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/publications/oharataxmodel.pdf). Because tax credits are simulated, it is possible that some families who receive the EITC may not be included and others who are not eligible for EITC benefits (for example, undocumented immigrants) may be assigned a value due to errors in the tax model.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Safety Net, Tax Publication