Publications

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  • 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.

  • Poverty and Deep Poverty Increasing in Rural America

    Amber Waves, March 04, 2014

    Examining poverty over time shows that the recent economic recession has resulted in the highest rural poverty rates since the mid-1980s, another period when an economic recession and slow rural recovery resulted in rising rural poverty rates. The 2007-2009 recession and subsequent slow recovery have resulted in substantial increases in poverty, especially among children.

  • 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.

  • A Visual Primer for the Food and Agricultural Sectors

    Amber Waves, December 16, 2013

    Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials, released in September 2013, is a collection of charts and maps covering fundamental statistics and trends related to the U.S. agricultural and food sectors. This data feature highlights a few of the questions that can be answered by the Essentials.

  • Energy Development’s Impacts on Rural Employment Growth

    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.

  • Rural Veterans at a Glance

    EB-25, November 07, 2013

    Veterans possess education and skill levels that position them to contribute economically to rural communities. ERS presents a social and demographic profile of veterans residing in rural areas.

  • Rural America at a Glance, 2013 Edition

    EB-24, November 07, 2013

    Since 2011, net job growth in nonmetro areas has been near zero while metro employment has grown 1.4 percent annually. Meanwhile, the first recorded period of nonmetro population loss occurred between 2010 and 2012.

  • Rural Internet at a Crossroads

    Amber Waves, July 01, 2013

    Ninety-five percent of all U.S. households have access to broadband Internet service. The 5 percent of households that do not have access largely reside in rural areas. About 30 percent of rural households with access still do not have broadband meeting current technology standards, although some of these households have broadband available at slower speeds.

  • Rural Broadband At A Glance, 2013 Edition

    EB-23, June 20, 2013

    Rural household Internet and broadband subscription rates generally fall below urban rates, but rural areas gained broadband subscribers faster in 2009-10.

  • The Importance of Farmer-Owned Nonfarm Businesses in the Rural Economy

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2013

    Farm households that also operate nonfarm businesses have accounted for about 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.

  • The Potential Impact of Tax Reform on Farm Businesses and Rural Households

    EIB-107, February 04, 2013

    Key elements of proposed tax reform, reducing accelerated deductions for capital purchases and raising capital gains tax rates, could increase tax liabilities for many farmers. Other elements could reduce tax liabilities.

  • Rural America At A Glance, 2012 Edition

    EB-21, December 13, 2012

    This update in the annual series focuses on U.S. recovery from the 2007-09 recession, with recovery slower in nonmetro than in metro areas. As of July 2012, nonmetro employment, e.g., remained more than 3 percent below its 2007 peak.

  • The Concentration of Poverty Is a Growing Rural Problem

    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.

  • 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.

  • Alleviating Poverty in the United States: The Critical Role of SNAP Benefits

    ERR-132, April 09, 2012

    ERS calculated the anti-poverty effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP - formerly called Food Stamps) using three measures: prevalence, depth, and severity of poverty. Get Report Summary and blog posting

  • Rural Wealth Creation: Concepts, Strategies, and Measures

    ERR-131, March 14, 2012

    No wealth creation strategy will work in all contexts. Rural communities able to identify strategies best suited to their existing wealth endowments and local priorities are likely in the best position to create wealth.

  • Rural America at a Glance, 2011 Edition

    EIB-85, September 26, 2011

    As incomes rise in China, consumers are demanding greater quality, convenience, and safety in food. Recent changes in China's food market landscape warrant a new assessment of its food demand.

  • Impacts of Regional Approaches to Rural Development: Initial Evidence on the Delta Regional Authority

    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 region as well as in the Southeast. Per capita income, net earnings, and transfer payments grew more rapidly in DRA counties than in similar non-DRA counties, and those impacts were stronger in counties in which DRA spending was higher. Each additional dollar of DRA spending was associated with an increase of $15 in the growth of annual personal income from 2002 to 2007, including an increase of $8 in annual earnings (primarily in the health care and social services sector) and an additional $5 in annual transfer (Government) payments (mainly due to increased medical transfer payments such as Medicare and Medicaid). Our findings suggest that investments supported by the DRA in improved medical facilities and DRA efforts to increase the supply of health professionals may be promoting additional health sector earnings and medical transfer payments.

  • Federal Tax Policies and Low-Income Rural Households

    EIB-76, May 05, 2011

    ERS examines the effects of current Federal tax provisions regarding low- and moderate-income households in rural America, focusing on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC).

  • In the Long Run: Growth in Nonmetro Poverty Is Tied to Recessionary Increases in Unemployment

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2010

    The dramatic increase in unemployment during the 2007-09 recession is tied to growth in the number of nonmetro residents living in poverty.