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72 publications, sorted by date 

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Amber Waves, December 16, 2013
Research indicates that the expansion of emerging energy industries—such as shale gas, wind power, and ethanol production—during the last decade created jobs in rural economies, but the employment impacts varied widely based on the industry.
ERR-159, November 21, 2013
This report builds on findings from recent studies led by U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service researchers investigating the economic effects of the emerging energy industries—unconventional natural gas extraction, wind power development, and corn-based ethanol production—in rur...
EB-25, November 07, 2013
Nearly 4 million veterans reside in rural (nonmetropolitan) America. They are a rapidly aging and increasingly diverse group of men and women who still comprise over 10 percent of rural adults despite consistently declining numbers.
EB-24, November 07, 2013
Rural America at a Glance, 2013 Edition highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas. This year's edition focuses on the U.S. rural economy, including employment trends, poverty, and population trends.
AP-062, September 16, 2013
This collection of nine charts and maps presents essential information on the farm sector, food spending and prices, food security, rural communities, and the interaction of agriculture and natural resources.
EB-23, June 20, 2013
Rural Internet and broadband adoption rates still lag behind urban rates in the United States. This report presents data on urban and rural household Internet and broadband subscription rates and explores some of the primary causes for lower rates in rural areas.
Amber Waves, April 01, 2013
Farm households that also operate nonfarm businesses have accounted for roughly 18 percent of U.S. farm households since the 1990s. In 2007, farmer-owned nonfarm businesses employed over 800,000 nonfarm workers and contributed an estimated $55 billion to their local communities’ gross county product...
EIB-107, February 04, 2013
An analysis of the potential impact of tax reform proposals on farm businesses and rural households in the United States.
EB-21, December 13, 2012
Rural America At A Glance, 2012 Edition highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. This year's edition focuses on the U.S. rural economy, including employment trends, poverty, and populatio...
Amber Waves, December 05, 2012
Concentrated poverty has increased in the U.S. over the last decade, particularly in nonmetropolitan areas and in areas with distinct racial/ethnic minority populations. Deteriorating economic conditions, namely rising unemployment, have driven the increase in nonmetro concentrated poverty.
EIB-101, October 31, 2012
Almost a third of U.S. farm households generate income by engaging in business ventures independent of commodity production, with distinctly different community and household benefits. In 2007, 686,600 farm households engaged in 791,000 income-generating activities distinct from commodity product...
Amber Waves, September 20, 2012
Creating and maintaining a broad portfolio of wealth may be central to sustainable rural prosperity. However, the impacts that rural development strategies have on wealth and the impacts of existing wealth on those strategies are generally not well understood.
ERR-134, May 16, 2012
Since 2002, USDA’s Rural Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee program has increased its emphasis on farm-related business activities associated with renewable energy, local/regional food, and value-added agriculture. Other new programs and program modifications also have focused on these and o...
ERR-131, March 14, 2012
This report presents a conceptual framework for rural wealth creation, drawing upon the U.S. and international development literature. The framework emphasizes the importance of multiple types of assets (physical, financial, human, intellectual, natural, social, political, and cultural capital) and ...
Amber Waves, March 01, 2012
Growth in per capita income averaged about $600 higher in DRA-funded nonmetro counties in 2002-07 than in similarly distressed counties outside the region, mainly due to increased health and social services sector earnings and increased medical transfer payments.
EIB-85, September 26, 2011
Rural America At A Glance, 2011 Edition highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. This year's edition focuses on the U.S. rural economy, including employment trends, poverty, education, an...
ERR-123, August 18, 2011
Agricultural production is sensitive to changes in energy prices, either through energy consumed directly or through energy-related inputs such as fertilizer. A number of factors can affect energy prices faced by U.S. farmers and ranchers, including developments in the oil and natural gas markets, a...
ERR-119, June 23, 2011
The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) began funding rural development projects in economically distressed counties in the Mississippi River Delta region in 2002. To assess the initial economic outcomes of DRA funding, we compared nonmetropolitan DRA counties with similar counties elsewhere in the same...
Amber Waves, December 01, 2010
Nearly half of the Nation’s nonmetropolitan counties lost population through net outmigration between 1988 and 2008, but the underlying causes and potential policy solutions vary widely.
ERR-107, November 12, 2010
Population loss through net outmigration is endemic to many rural areas. Over a third of nonmetro counties lost at least 10 percent of their population through net outmigration over 1988-2008. Some of these counties have had very high poverty rates, substantial loss in manufacturing jobs, and high u...
EIB-68, September 13, 2010
Rural America At A Glance, 2010 Edition highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. The 2010 edition focuses on the U.S. rural economy, including employment trends, poverty, and demographics...
ERR-99, June 21, 2010
A series of coordinated case studies compares the structure, size, and performance of local food supply chains with those of mainstream supply chains. Interviews and site visits with farms and businesses, supplemented with secondary data, describe how food moves from farms to consumers in 15 food su...
Amber Waves, March 01, 2010
The rates of employment loss and unemployment in the recent recession are about the same in metro and nonmetro areas, but based on previous recessions, nonmetro employment may recover more slowly. As in past recessions, manufacturing-dependent nonmetro counties felt the effects of the recessions so...
EIB-63, February 18, 2010
Ninety-one percent of U.S. farms are classified as small—gross cash farm income (GCFI) of less than $250,000. About 60 percent of these small farms are very small, generating GCFI of less than $10,000. These very small noncommercial farms, in some respects, exist independently of the farm economy be...
ERR-91, February 12, 2010
Household economic well-being can be gauged by the financial resources (income/wealth) available to the household or by the standard of living enjoyed by household members (consumption). Based on responses to USDA's annual Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), a joint effort by the Economi...
EIB-62, December 07, 2009
Beginning, limited-resource, and socially disadvantaged farmers make up as much as 40 percent of all U.S. farms. Some Federal conservation programs contain provisions that encourage participation by such “targeted” farmers and the 2008 Farm Act furthered these efforts. This report compares the natur...
EIB-59, September 04, 2009
Update of an annual series, the 2009 edition of Rural America At A Glance deals with effects of the major recession on rural America. Initially, effects of the recession were mitigated in nonmetro areas by high commodity prices throughout much of 2008, but as the recession deepened, prices fell. Bot...
Amber Waves, September 01, 2009
Investment in rural broadband Internet access seems to lead to a more competitive rural economy and rural economic growth, helping create a rural digital economy. A comparison of the economic growth of counties with broadband access in 2000 with that of otherwise similar counties without broadband s...
EIB-57, August 17, 2009
Rural residents have higher rates of age-adjusted mortality, disability, and chronic disease than their urban counterparts, though mortality and disability rates vary more by region than by metro status. Contributing negatively to the health status of rural residents are their lower socioeconomic st...
ERR-78, August 17, 2009
As broadband—or high-speed—Internet use has spread, Internet applications requiring high transmission speeds have become an integral part of the “Information Economy,” raising concerns about those who lack broadband access. This report analyzes (1) rural broadband use by consumers, the community-at-...
ERR-79, August 10, 2009
Members of the baby boom cohort, now 45-63 years old, are approaching a period in their lives when moves to rural and small-town destinations increase. An analysis of age-specific, net migration during the 1990s reveals extensive shifts in migration patterns as Americans move through different life-...
EIB-48, April 01, 2009
This book contains a sampling of recent ERS research illustrating the breadth of the Agency's research on current policy issues: from biofuels to food consumption to land conservation to patterns of trade for agricultural products.
EIB-47, February 27, 2009
Three-quarters of U.S. residents used the Internet to access information, education, and services in 2007. Broadband Internet access is becoming essential for both businesses and households; many compare its evolution to other technologies now considered common necessities—such as cars, electricity,...
AP-031, January 02, 2009
Among the many responsibilities of USDA are implementing the Food Stamp Program and other food and nutrition assistance programs; managing Federal forest land; implementing standards of humane care and treatment of animals; providing incentives for adopting wildlife habitat enhancements and other co...
EIB-40, October 31, 2008
Rural America At A Glance, 2008 Edition highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. The 2008 edition focuses on employment, poverty, population change, and demographic characteristics of non...
Amber Waves, June 01, 2008
The use of different definitions of rural by Federal agencies reflects the multidimensional qualities of rural America.
Amber Waves, February 01, 2008
Average earnings are lower in nonmetro areas than in metro areas, even after accounting for differences in the individual characteristics of nonmetro earners. The nonmetro-metro earnings gap is greater for workers with more education and more experience. For nonmetro households, lower earnings may b...
ERR-53, December 31, 2007
Farm-based recreation provides an important niche market for farmers, but limited empirical information is available on the topic. Access to two USDA databases, the 2004 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) and the 2000 National Survey on Recreation and the Environment, provided researcher...
EIB-31, October 01, 2007
Rural America At A Glance, 2007 highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. The brochure provides information on key rural conditions and trends for use by public and private decisionmakers ...
EIB-21, December 29, 2006
Rural Employment At A Glance is a six-page brochure that highlights the most recent indicators of employment and unemployment in rural areas. It documents changes and differences in metro and nonmetro employment growth, unemployment, earnings per job, and occupational mix, as well as differences acr...
EIB-18, August 29, 2006
Rural America At A Glance, 2006 Edition highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. The brochure provides information on key rural conditions and trends for use by public and private decisio...
Amber Waves, June 01, 2006
Hispanics increasingly meet labor demand arising from industry restructuring.
EB-1, March 14, 2006
A multitude of design decisions influence the performance of voluntary conservation programs. This Economic Brief is one of a set of five exploring the implications of decisions policymakers and program managers must make about who is eligible to receive payments, how much can be received, for what ...
WRS-0601, January 11, 2006
China has substantially boosted lending to farmers and agribusinesses in recent years. The balance of loans to farmers doubled between 2001 and 2005. Loans for agribusinesses and rural infrastructure rose as well. Rural credit cooperatives and banks that lend to agriculture are being reformed and co...
EIB-8, December 28, 2005
Rural Hispanics at a Glance provides the latest information from the 2000 Census and other Federal data sources about Hispanics living in nonmetro counties. This six-page brochure highlights growth and geographic dispersion, demographic characteristics, and the most recent indicators of social and e...
ERR-10, October 31, 2005
This study reports trends in rural low-skill employment in the 1990s and their impact on the rural workforce. The share of rural jobs classified as low-skill fell by 2.2 percentage points between 1990 and 2000, twice the decline of the urban low-skill employment share, but much less than the decline...
EIB-4, September 22, 2005
Rural America At A Glance, 2005 is a six-page brochure that highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. The brochure is the fourth in a series of reports that uses current social and economi...
ERR-7, August 09, 2005
The promotion of recreation and tourism has been both praised and criticized as a rural development strategy. This study uses regression analysis to assess the effect of recreation and tourism development on socioeconomic conditions in rural recreation counties. The findings imply that recreation an...
EIB-1, April 06, 2005
This report provides the latest information on the demographic, social, and economic characteristics of rural children in families. Child poverty in 21st century America is higher (18 percent in 2003) than the rate for the general population (12.5 percent), as well as above the rates in most other i...
AIB-795, January 12, 2005
This six-page brochure provides the latest information on transportation in rural America. The effects of deregulation, devolution of Federal transportation responsibilities to the States, increased Federal funding, and heightened security concerns are discussed in the context of each of the individ...
AER-834, October 08, 2004
This report estimates the impact that high levels of enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) have had on economic trends in rural counties since the program’s inception in 1985 until today. The results of a growth model and quasi-experimental control group analysis indicate no discernib...
AIB-793, September 30, 2004
Rural America At A Glance, 2004 is a six-page brochure that highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. The brochure is the third in a series of reports that uses current social and economic...
RDRR-100, July 20, 2004
This publication provides the most recent information on poverty trends and demographic characteristics of the rural poor. The rate of poverty is not only an important social indicator of the well-being of the least well off, but it is also widely used as an input in shaping Federal policies and tar...
RDRR-99, May 28, 2004
Since 1980, the nonmetro Hispanic population in the United States has doubled and is now the most rapidly growing demographic group in rural and small-town America. By 2000, half of all nonmetro Hispanics lived outside traditional settlement areas of the Southwest. Many Hispanics in counties that ha...
RDRR-98, January 29, 2004
This report provides the latest information from the 2000 Census and other Federal sources on the education characteristics of rural workers and counties. It documents the steady rise in rural adult educational attainment in the 1990s and the increasing importance of education to rural workers and p...
RDRR-97-1, September 02, 2003
Rural America At A Glance is a six-page brochure that highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. This brochure is the second in a series of reports that uses current social and economic dat...
RDRR-96, June 25, 2003
While the greater incidence of poverty in nonmetro relative to metro areas is well documented, there is little research as to whether it is deeper or more severe in nonmetro areas. This report examines metro-nonmetro differences in U.S. poverty rates, using data from Current Population Surveys (1991...
RA-174, January 14, 2003
This issue discusses a number of topics concerning rural America, including rural population loss and migration, recreation counties and their rapid growth, U.S.-China trade, federal funding in rural America, rural land ownership, rural infrastructure, and rural employment growth. Updates on rural c...
RDRR-95, December 30, 2002
An analysis of on-the-job computer use shows that such use is more common in metro areas than in nonmetro areas. A substantial wage premium, 10 to 11 percent, is associated with using a computer on the job, even after other job and worker characteristics are taken into account. However, this wage pr...
RDRR-94-1, September 13, 2002
Rural America At A Glance is a six-page brochure that highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. This brochure is the first in a series of reports that uses current social and economic data...
WRS-0201, July 30, 2002
This report assesses the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on U.S. agriculture and trade. It also contains sections on investment, employment, the environment, and transportation, as well as detailed commodity assessments of the impact of NAFTA on trade.
FANRR-26-4, June 03, 2002
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act dramatically altered the social safety net for poor Americans, including the 7 million people living in poverty in nonmetro areas. This issue brief examines evidence from recent research about rural-urban differences in welfare refo...
RDRR-92, October 15, 2001
During 1995-97, 3.4 million workers were displaced from their jobs, of whom 500,000 (15 percent) were nonmetro workers. This report examines the displaced workers' experience in metro and nonmetro areas using survey and administrative data. Although nonmetro workers were less likely to be displaced ...
AIB-752, July 01, 1999
For U.S. agriculture to continue along a sustainable path of economic development, further production increases must be generated by technologies that are both profitable and more environmentally benign. In this context, we assess the role of these green or sustainable technologies in steering agric...
BLA-133, April 30, 1999
This annotated bibliography summarizes studies of the rural economic development implications of highway investment. Primary emphasis is on research dealing with rural areas, but some urban studies are also cited. Topics covered include the aggregate economic effects of highway investment, the effec...
AER-776, March 01, 1999
Establishments in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan locations are surprisingly similar in their adoption of new technologies, worker skill requirements, use of government programs and technical assistance, exports, and sources of financing, according to the results of a nationwide survey of 3,909 man...
AIB-741, July 20, 1998
Many rural communities have benefited from the attraction of retirees in recent years. With the baby boom generation beginning to make retirement decisions, many other rural communities might consider economic development strategies based on attracting and retaining retirees. This report reviews th...
AIB-737, October 01, 1997
Factors related to local and regional economic growth are attractiveness to retirees, right-to-work laws, excellent high school completion rates, good public education expenditures, and access to transportation networks. These were associated with improved county earnings in 1979-89, according to a ...
AER-749, April 01, 1997
In response to a mandate in the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, this report provides information on the major financial institutions and Federal programs active in rural America, the performance of rural financial markets, and the costs and benefits of proposals to expand the...
AER-731, August 01, 1996
Rural minorities lag behind rural Whites and urban minorities on many crucial economic and social measures. This report examines rural Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian and Pacific Islander populations and their economic well-being in the 1980's, an economically difficult decade for rural ...
AIB-710, February 01, 1995
The diversity of rural America and the changes it has undergone in the last half century have resulted in a wide variety of economic conditions and needs. This full-color report documents changes in rural employment, population, and well-being for six categories of rural counties: those that depend ...
RDRR-49, September 18, 1985
Effective rural development planning depends on facts and analysis based, not on national rural averages, but on the diverse social and economic structure of rural America. Programs tailored to particular types of rural economies may be more effective than a generalized program. This study identifie...

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