Publications

Sort by: Title | Date
  • NAFTA at 17: Full Implementation Leads to Increased Trade and Integration

    WRS-1101, March 31, 2011

    This report is the last in USDA's series of Congressionally mandated biennial reports on the impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on U.S. agriculture and the rural economy. The report responds to a mandate in the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act of 1993.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Rural America at a Glance, 2010 Edition

    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.

  • ERS Innovates as It Expands Distance Learning Ventures With Minority-Serving Institutions

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2010

    In 2007, ERS launched a distance learning initiative as part of an ongoing commitment to student outreach and the development of a more diverse community of agricultural economists within USDA. The initiative links ERS with students at minority-serving universities by providing teaching and discussions relevant to both ERS research and the students’ curricula.

  • On The Map: Job Losses Concentrated in the Great Lakes and Southeast Regions

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2010

    Most U.S. counties experienced employment declines between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the fourth quarter of 2009, including 93.6 percent of metro counties and 79.2 percent of nonmetro counties. The greatest declines were concentrated in the Great Lakes and Southern regions.

  • Economic Recovery: Lessons Learned From Previous Recessions

    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 sooner than other nonmetro areas. Unemployment rates continue to be lowest for the college-educated in both nonmetro and metro areas.

  • Rural America At A Glance, 2009 Edition

    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. Both nonmetro and metro areas experienced rising unemployment as manufacturing and other major employment sectors contracted, and they were similarly affected by the mortgage foreclosure crisis. However, even before the current recession, nonmetro poverty rates had risen in the growth years after the 2001 recession, against the usual trend during a time of economic expansion; the nonmetro poverty rate has exceeded the national poverty rate since 2001. The nonmetro population continued to grow in 2007 and 2008, but at less than half the rate of the metro population. Nonmetro growth is largely due to a rise in births, offsetting a decline in net migration from metro to nonmetro areas.

  • On The Map: Unemployment Rate Highest in Michigan

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2009

    Nationally, the unemployment rate was 8.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted) in the first quarter of 2009.

  • Nonmetro Areas Showing the Effects of the Economic Downturns

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2009

    Nonmetro unemployment rose to 8.5 percent during the first quarter of 2009, the highest first quarter rate since 1987. Metro unemployment was at 8.9 percent in the same period, the highest first quarter rate since 1983. Data from past recessions indicate that the unemployment rate will not peak until months after the current recession has officially ended.

  • Rural America At A Glance, 2008 Edition

    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 nonmetro areas.

    Listen to a podcast 16x16 Multimedia - Podcast based on this report.

  • Profile of Hired Farmworkers, A 2008 Update

    ERR-60, July 11, 2008

    ERS examines the size, importance, and composition of the hired farmworker force, updating information published in 2000. These workers make up a third of the farm labor

  • College Completion Rates Rise But Nonmetro Areas Continue To Lag

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2008

    College graduates earn much more than those without a college education, and college graduates are more prevalent in metro than nonmetro areas, which contributes to higher earning levels in metro locales. Recent data from the Current Population Survey show that the metro advantage in college completion rates is growing over time. Between 1996 and 2006, the proportion of prime working-age (25-59) adults who had completed college rose by roughly 14 percent in both metro and nonmetro areas. However, because the college completion rate is higher in metro areas, the absolute size of the metro-nonmetro gap in college completion rates rose over the 10-year period.

  • In The Long Run

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    Educational attainment is an indicator of human capital; it provides an individual with knowledge and skills that can lead to future earnings and the ability to adapt to changing environments.

  • Farm-Based Recreation: A Statistical Profile

    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 researchers with a deeper understanding of who operates farm-based recreation enterprises, such as hunting and fishing operations, horseback riding businesses, on-farm rodeos, and petting zoos. Regression analysis identified the importance of various farmer and farm characteristics, as well as local and regional factors associated with farmer operation of, and income derived from, farm-based recreation.

  • Arts Employment Is Burgeoning in Some Rural Areas

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    Between 1990 and 2000, all of the growth in U.S. arts employment share was due to gains in the nonmetro share, although the growth was concentrated in select counties.

  • Rural America At A Glance, 2007 Edition

    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 and others involved in efforts to enhance the economic opportunities and quality of life for rural people and their communities.

  • Rural Employment At A Glance

    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 across nonmetro areas by location and county type.

  • Rural America At A Glance, 2006 Edition

    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 decisionmakers and others in efforts to enhance the economic opportunities and quality of life for rural people and their communities.

  • Rural Hispanics At A Glance

    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 economic conditions for this population. It emphasizes rapid Hispanic population growth, particularly in new rural destinations of the Midwest and Southeast, and it illustrates differences in age structure between Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites. The report also provides data on important demographic, labor market, income, poverty, and social service indicators for nonmetro Hispanics. Using a visually interesting format that incorporates text bullets with charts and maps, it quickly provides information on key indicators of the rural Hispanic population to assist public officials, community organizations, private decision makers and others in their efforts to enhance the economic opportunities and quality of life for this rapidly growing population.