Publications

Sort by: Title | Date
  • Broadband Internet Service Helping Create a Rural Digital Economy

    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 shows that broadband availability helped spur the formation of new businesses and increased the growth of existing firms.

  • Creating Rural Wealth: A New Lens for Rural Development Efforts

    Amber Waves, September 20, 2012

    Rural development efforts that create and maintain a broad portfolio of wealth may be central to sustainable rural prosperity.

  • Emerging Energy Industries and Rural Growth

    ERR-159, November 21, 2013

    Production of wind power, corn-based ethanol, and unconventionally extracted natural gas more than doubled overall from 2000 to 2010. ERS looks at the contribution these emerging-energy industries have made to local economies.

  • Employment Spillover Effects of Rural Inpatient Healthcare Facilities

    ERR-241, December 20, 2017

    From 2001 to 2015, inpatient healthcare facilities experienced modest employment gains in rural counties despite the effects of the Great Recession. However, rural healthcare jobs do not have strong spillover effects on jobs in other sectors.

  • Energy Development’s Impacts on Rural Employment Growth

    Amber Waves, December 16, 2013

    Energy Development’s Impacts on Rural Employment Growth.

  • Factors Affecting Former Residents' Returning to Rural Communities

    ERR-185, May 21, 2015

    The desire to raise children back home was among the most frequently cited reasons for returning to live in relatively remote rural areas. Most nonreturnees who considered returning cited limited career opportunities as the primary barrier.

  • Farm Activities Associated With Rural Development Initiatives

    ERR-134, May 16, 2012

    A number of rural development initiatives have targeted farm-related activities (e.g., agritourism, energy production). ERS examines the characteristics of farms and farm households involved in such activities.

  • Foundation Giving to Rural Areas in the United States Is Disproportionately Low

    Amber Waves, August 03, 2015

    ERS estimates that the value of U.S. foundation grants to benefit rural areas was 6-7 percent of total domestic grants in 2010.

  • Grassroots Innovation Widespread in Rural Areas and Concentrated in Manufacturing

    Amber Waves, October 02, 2017

    Innovation can contribute to dynamic and resilient local economies by introducing new goods, services, or ways of doing business that add value to benefit consumers. Research on rural innovation has largely focused on increases in agricultural productivity—leaving the potential contributions of the rural nonfarm economy only thinly studied.

  • Impacts of Higher Energy Prices on Agriculture and Rural Economies

    ERR-123, August 18, 2011

    ERS looks at direct and indirect impacts of higher energy prices on the agricultural and rural sectors, with scenarios developed for specific energy price changes.

  • Innovation in the Rural Nonfarm Economy: Its Effect on Job and Earnings Growth, 2010-2014

    ERR-238, September 19, 2017

    Innovation-intensive industries in rural and urban areas.

  • Issues in Agricultural and Rural Finance

    AIB-724, August 21, 1998

    The Food and Rural Economics Division of ERS designed the following series of policy-oriented, timely publications to provide background and analysis for decisionmakers and others. The Federal Government is heavily involved in both public and private finance in the rural and agricultural sectors. Such involvement takes the form of lending and loan guarantees from Federal agencies, chartering special purpose lenders, providing regulation and supervision, and financing rural development and poverty programs. This series of reports focuses on current and emerging issues in agricultural and rural finance. Each report is short, nontechnical, and policy oriented, providing decisionmakers and others with timely analyses of policy proposals and emerging issues and trends.

  • Low-Skill Employment and the Changing Economy of Rural America

    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 of the 1980s. Employment shifts from low-skill to skilled occupations within industries, rather than changes in industry mix, explain virtually all of the decline in the rural low-skill employment share. The share decline was particularly large for rural Black women, many of whom moved out of low-skill blue-collar work into service occupations, while the share of rural Hispanics who held low-skill jobs increased.

  • Multi-Enterprising Farm Households: The Importance of Their Alternative Business Ventures in the Rural Economy

    EIB-101, October 31, 2012

    Nearly a third of U.S. farm households generate income by engaging in business ventures independent of commodity production, creating $26.7 billion in household income in 2007, from both on- and off-farm enterprises.

  • Natural Gas Extraction and Local Economies—No Evidence of a “Natural Resource Curse”

    Amber Waves, August 04, 2014

    In the 2000s, natural gas production from shale formations increased tenfold in the United States, and growth in production has continued through 2013. Opponents of hydraulic fracturing cite environmental concerns such as groundwater contamination and air pollution. Proponents often highlight the benefit of natural gas extraction to local and state economies.

  • Nonmetropolitan Outmigration Counties: Some Are Poor, Many Are Prosperous

    ERR-107, November 12, 2010

    Over a third of U.S. nonmetropolitan counties lost at least 10 percent of their population through net outmigration during the past two decades. ERS compares characteristics of such counties with other nonmetro counties.

  • Onshore Oil and Gas Development in the Lower 48 States: Introducing a County-Level Database of Production for 2000-2011

    Amber Waves, February 03, 2014

    Until now, there has been no publicly available nationwide data on oil and gas production at the county level. County-level data from oil and/or natural gas producing States were compiled on a State-by-State basis. Most States have production statistics available by field, county, or well, and these data were compiled at the county level to create a database of county-level production, 2000-11.

  • Population Loss in Nonmetro Counties Continues

    Amber Waves, August 03, 2015

    Nonmetro areas in some parts of the country have experienced population loss for decades. However, 2010-14 marks the first period with an estimated population loss for nonmetro America as a whole. Opportunities for population growth and economic expansion vary widely from one nonmetro county to the next, and new regional patterns of growth and decline have emerged in recent years.

  • Recreation, Tourism, and Rural Well-Being

    ERR-7, August 09, 2005

    Recreation and tourism development generally increases local employment, wage levels, and income in rural areas. Drawbacks include higher housing costs. Local effects vary significantly, depending on the type of recreation area.

  • Rural America At A Glance, 2004

    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 data to highlight population, labor market, income, and poverty trends in rural areas. This brochure provides information on key rural conditions and trends for use by public and private decisionmakers and others in efforts to enhance the economic opportunities and quality of life for rural people and their communities.