Category: Publication

Resource Category Topic Type
Fewer Than Half of WIC-Eligible Families Receive WIC Benefits
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) serves millions of low-income women, infants, and children who are at nutritional risk by providing checks or vouchers for nutritious foods, nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, and health care referrals.1 Foods eligible for WIC are high in certain nutrients and designed to meet the special nutritional needs of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum women, as well as infants and children up to age 5.2 Research has shown that WIC is a successful and cost-effective program. Numerous studies find that WIC participation improves pre- and postnatal health outcomes; families’ overall nutrition; access to prenatal care, health care for children, and immunizations; and children’s cognitive development and academic achievement.3 In 2015, the average monthly WIC benefit was $43.58 per person. Easing the costs associated with buying nutritional foods frees up family resources for other necessities, like housing and medical costs. Families with pre-tax incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible for the program.4 WIC benefits are especially important for rural families, as the poverty rate is higher in rural than in urban areas (18 percent compared with 15 percent in 2014).5 It is important to consider uptake differences by place type as research indicates that rural women perceive more stigma surrounding participation in government assistance programs compared with women in urban areas.6
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Family, Food Assistance, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
Financial Innovations Roundtable: Developing Practical Solutions to Scale up Integrated Community Development Strategies
Essays from national experts affiliated with the “think-do” tank , the Financial Innovations Roundtable, housed at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire.
Center for Impact Finance Community Development Finance Publication
First in the Nation
More than half a million people are expected to participate in the New Hampshire 2016 Presidential Primary. The time-honored symbol of the primary is the laconic Yankee with deep ancestral roots in the state, who dismisses fourth-generation residents as newcomers. Certainly such voters exist, but in reality most Granite State residents arrived only recently. In fact, New Hampshire’s population is among the most mobile in the nation. Only a third of New Hampshire residents age 25 and older were born in the state. Such migration, coupled with the natural change in the population as young voters come of age and older generations of voters pass from the scene, has produced considerable turnover in the voting population. More than 30 percent of potential voters this year were either not old enough to vote in 2008, or resided somewhere other than New Hampshire. Such demographic turnover contributes to the changing political landscape of the state, which has important implications both for the Presidential Primary and the November general election. Demographic Trends Two powerful demographic forces are reshaping the New Hampshire electorate. The first is migration. New Hampshire has one of the most mobile populations in the nation. Only 45 percent of the population residing in New Hampshire was born in the state. In contrast, nationwide 68 percent of the U.S.–born population resides in the state in which they were born. Only five states and the District of Columbia have a smaller proportion of their native born population living in their state of birth than New Hampshire. Among those 25 and older, who make up the bulk of the voting age population, just 33 percent of New Hampshire residents were born in the state.
Demography, New Hampshire Demography, New Hampshire, Politics and Elections Publication
Food Stamp and School Lunch Programs Alleviate Food Insecurity in Rural America
The Food Stamp and the National School Lunch Programs play a vital role in helping poor, rural Americans obtain a more nutritious diet and alleviate food insecurity and hunger. This fact sheet looks at the extent to which rural America depends on these programs and describes characteristics of beneficiaries of these federal nutrition assistance programs.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Food Assistance, Rural, Safety Net, Young Adults Publication
For One in Four Very Young, Low-Income Children, Parents Are Young Too
This brief maps the distribution of children living with young adult parents, describes their parents’ characteristics, and details ways to strengthen policy supports that can fortify their families’ ability to succeed.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Children, Family, Young Adults Publication
Forest Management and Wildfire Risk in Inland Northwest
This brief reports the results of a mail survey of forest landowners in northeastern Oregon conducted in the fall of 2012 by the Communities and Forests in Oregon (CAFOR) Project at the University of Colorado and the University of New Hampshire in cooperation with Oregon State University College of Forestry Extension.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Environment, Forests Publication
Forest Views
Residents of northeast Oregon were surveyed by telephone in an effort to assess individual perceptions of forests and natural resource management. Results show that residents are generally well informed about declining forest health, and they identify active forest management as a high priority. Just over half of residents support increasing public land use fees to pay for forest restoration activities, while only a minority support raising local taxes. Thus, creative policy solutions are likely needed to address the forest restoration funding gap. Residents were nearly unanimous in their belief that natural resources can be preserved for future generations and at the same time used to create jobs. Compared to a similar survey in 2011, a larger proportion of participants in 2014 prioritize renewable energy development over drilling and exploration for oil, an increasing percentage believe that environmental rules limiting development have been good for their communities, and fewer support the elimination of wolves. These shifts in public opinion appear to be due to changes in perceptions among longtime residents, rather than demographic changes, and suggest that communities may be more receptive to regulations and programs that address ecological restoration and stewardship goals, as well as climate change impacts.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Environment, Forests, Public Opinion Publication
Forest Views: Northeast Oregon Survey Looks at Community and Environment
This brief reports on a survey conducted in fall 2011 as one component of the ongoing Communities and Forests in Oregon (CAFOR) project. The CAFOR project focuses on the people and landscapes of three counties in northeast Oregon (Baker, Union, and Wallowa), where landscapes and communities are changing in interconnected ways.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Community, Environment, Forests Publication
Forests in Flux
The New England states and New York are more than 50 percent forested, a rate well above the national average. Economies in this heavily forested region have historically relied on forest-based industries, and human population has clustered along coastal regions and major waterways, though recent trends suggest widespread in-migration to amenity-rich rural areas. Over the last decade, all states in this region have experienced notable declines in forest cover. In urban and suburban areas like southern New Hampshire, this loss of forest cover is likely related to increased demand for housing and services. It is also likely to be a permanent transition, since developed land rarely reverts to forest cover. Much of the forest cover loss in rural northern New England is due to commercial timber harvesting and is likely temporary, but in other portions of northern New England forest cover has declined consistently since 2001, and it is unclear whether this shift is the result of development or forest harvesting. These two types of forest cover change can have drastically different effects on the services local residents derive from forests. Because more developed regions have already lost much of their forest cover, a sustained loss of the remaining forestland has serious implications for vital ecosystem services like drinking water filtration, storm abatement, and air purification. This brief contributes to a better understanding of the linkages between demographic and forest cover change so as to inform policy efforts aimed at maintaining existing forested areas in and around sprawling urban centers.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change, New Hampshire Environment, Forests, New England Publication
Forging the Future: Community Leadership and Economic Change in Coös County, New Hampshire
Author Michele Dillon conducted a case study of community change in Coös County, New Hampshire, for two-and-a-half years (June 2009-December 2011) to investigate how local community leaders in Coös assess the initiatives, challenges, opportunities, and progress in the North Country during this time of economic transition.
New Hampshire Civic Engagement, Community, Economic Development, Leadership, New Hampshire Publication
Forgotten Fifth: Child Poverty in Rural America, The
One in five poor children in this country lives in a rural area. Yet this group of vulnerable young Americans is seldom on the minds of the public or policy makers when they talk about child poverty in the United States. This report highlights child poverty statistics in rural America and compares them to urban areas, discussing how they are affected by family, education, employment, and the government.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Rural, Young Adults Publication
Forty-three Percent of Eligible Rural Families Can Claim a Larger Credit with EITC Expansion
This policy brief on the changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit in the ARRA also shows that families with three or more children and married couples will receive an increased refund under these new EITC rules for tax years 2009 and 2010. Many families in urban and suburban communities will also see increased benefits under these new provisions.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Rural, Safety Net, Tax Publication
Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Eligibility by New Hampshire State Legislative District
This brief translates New Hampshire free and reduced-price lunch eligibility data from the school level to the state House of Representatives legislative district level so that legislators have another resource for understanding the distribution of low-income families across the state and the extent to which child nutrition programs are especially relevant in their districts.
New Hampshire, Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Food Assistance, Low Income, New Hampshire, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
Full-Time Employment Not Always a Ticket to Health Insurance
The majority of Americans—55.7 percent in 2016, according to the Census Bureau—access health insurance through employer-based plans.1 However, employment does not always result in health insurance coverage, and not all those who report working full time, year round are covered by an employer-based plan. In particular, many low-income workers are unable to access health insurance through their employers.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Health, Health Insurance Publication
Gains in Reducing Child Poverty, but Racial-Ethnic Disparities Persist
In 2015, for the second year in a row, child poverty rates declined in the United States. However, familiar patterns in levels and characteristics of child poverty persist: more than one in five children are poor; children of color are at disproportionate risk for poverty; and rates are highest in the South and West and in rural areas and cities (Table 1). This brief uses data from the American Community Survey to investigate patterns of child poverty across race-ethnicities and across regions and place types. We also explore changes in child poverty rates since 2014 and since the end of the Great Recession in 2009. The estimates presented in this brief are based on the official poverty measure (see Box 1 on page 3). Native Americans, Alaskan and Hawaiian natives, and those reporting multiple racial-ethnic backgrounds are excluded from this update because such samples are too small for meaningful analyses.
Vulnerable Families Research Program African Americans, Children, Poverty Publication
Gaps in Youth Opportunity by State
Public discourse on economics in the United States, and around the world, often focuses on rising income and wealth inequality. The “Occupy” movement drew great attention to the rising fortunes of the top one percent while middle- and lower-income Americans lost ground. Vast scholarly, political, and media attention is focused on issues of growing inequality and implications for broader societal cultural shifts as well as economic growth. Less attention has been paid to the changing landscape of opportunities enabling youth to get ahead, to improve their living situation over that of their parents through hard work and determination. Such social mobility has remained fairly stable for generations, but recent evidence across a range of indicia suggests growing gaps in the opportunities available to children in lower socioeconomic status families versus those in families of higher socioeconomic strata. This pushes the American Dream—or the idea that anyone who works hard, and plays by the rules, can get ahead—further out of reach. Such inequality is a potential threat to our social structure as well as our economic well-being.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Employment, Income, Poverty, Young Adults Publication
Good Neighbors: A Community Conversation to Strengthen City-College Connections and Relationships
During the winter and spring of 2015, the Keene College/City Commission worked with NH Listens to design a community conversation that would focus on one of the four priorities identified by the Commission in 2014— citizenship. As stated in its working charge, the Commission was established with, “the goal of improving the quality of life for residents, students, employers, and visitors while recognizing the diverse needs of varied demographic groups, the unique characteristics of our City, and the opportunities that exist for collaboration across organizational boundaries.” In the near future, the College/City Commission will also be addressing the other priorities contained in its charge—housing and neighborhoods, infrastructure and parking, and property/tax base issues.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Government Spending Across the World
In this brief, authors Michael Ettlinger, Jordan Hensley, and Julia Vieira analyze how much the governments of different countries spend, and on what, to illuminate the range of fiscal policy options available and provide a basis for determining which approaches work best.
Education, Safety Net, Tax Publication
Granite State Future: Regional Themes
This executive summary provides an overview of the process and results of an extended public engagement process conducted by New Hampshire Listens of the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire and the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, on behalf of the nine Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) in New Hampshire. The work was carried out under contract with the Nashua RPC, using Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant funds administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The primary purpose of the public engagement process was to elicit a wide range of views from diverse residents of New Hampshire, representing all geographic regions of the state, to the question: How can we make our community the best place to live, learn, work, and play?
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Granite Staters Weigh in on Renewable Energy Versus Drilling: Environmental Quality of Life Ranks High Across Party Lines
Since the fall of 2001, the University of New Hampshire’s Survey Center has been conducting the Granite State Poll—a statewide, scientific survey of public opinion and behavior concerning policy issues—via telephone interviews with random samples of New Hampshire residents about four times each year.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change, New Hampshire Environment, New Hampshire, Politics and Elections, Public Opinion Publication