Publications

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  • On The Map

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2006

    Indicators: On the Map - February 2006

  • 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.

  • Older Women and Poverty in Rural America

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2005

    Rural areas generally have a higher proportion of older persons than urban areas, and nonmetro poverty rates for older persons are higher than metro rates. Women constituted 65 percent of the rural poor age 65 and older in 2003. In rural areas, 10 percent of men versus 17 percent of women age 85 and older were poor.

  • Rural America as a Retirement Destination

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2005

    ERS has identified 277 rural retirement-destination counties where the population age 60 and older grew by 15 percent or more in the 1990s through net inmigration. In contrast, only 36 rural counties qualified as retirement areas during 1950-60, when data were first available.

  • In the Long Run: Farm Population as a Share of Total U.S. Population

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2005

    Farm population has fallen steadily as a share of total U.S. population for more than a century.

  • Population Loss Counties Lack Natural Amenities and Metro Proximity

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2005

    Population growth is often a key indicator of economic and social well-being. Population loss, on the other hand, often signals weak economic conditions in the community. Hundreds of towns throughout a wide swath of America's Heartland face an entrenched form of population loss, often covering several decades. To highlight the fiscal and policy choices stemming from such conditions, ERS added Population-Loss Counties to its recently updated county typology. Population-loss counties are those that lost population in both the 1980s and 1990s.

  • How Do U.S. Farmers Plan for Retirement?

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2005

    Retirement and succession planning are of considerable importance to farm households and there are good reasons to believe that they are affected by savings and retirement policies in ways that are different from the rest of the Nation's households. This article examines how farmers save for retirement as well as their dependency on social security.

  • 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.

  • Rural Hispanics: Employment and Residential Trends

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2004

    Hispanics are among the most urbanized ethnic/racial groups in America, with 9 out of 10 Hispanics living in a metro area. In the past two decades, however, Hispanics have become the most rapidly growing group in nonmetropolitan America.

  • New Patterns of Hispanic Settlement in Rural America

    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 have experienced rapid Hispanic growth are recent U.S. arrivals with relatively low education levels, weak English proficiency, and undocumented status. This recent settlement has increased the visibility of Hispanics in many new regions of rural America whose population has long been dominated by non-Hispanic Whites. Yet within smaller geographic areas, the level of residential separation between them increased-i.e., the two groups became less evenly distributed-during the 1990s, especially in rapidly growing counties. Hispanic settlement patterns warrant attention by policymakers because they affect the well-being of both Hispanics and rural communities themselves.

  • Growth of Hispanics in Rural Workforce

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2004

    Technological change and industrial restructuring in rural America in the 1990s led some employers to demand more unskilled workers relative to skilled workers. Many of those unskilled workers were Hispanics, who now represent an increased share of the rural workforce

  • Progress and Partnerships in a Dynamic Rural America

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2004

    Rural America faces many opportunities and challenges in the 21st century. Changing migration patterns, increased educational attainment, and industrial restructuring have important implications for rural residents, particularly the almost 4.1 million African-Americans or Blacks (the largest minority group in rural areas) who reside in small towns and rural areas of the United States. A wide variety of economic development strategies call for unique partnerships such as the one linking USDA and the 1890 Institutions in efforts to enhance the economic opportunities and quality of life for rural people.

  • Growth of Older Population Slows in Rural and Small-Town Areas

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2003

    The older rural and small-town population grew more slowly in the 1990s than did the population under age 65 for the first time in the 20th century. This stemmed from fewer people reaching age 65 as a result of the low birth rates of 1925-35 and outmigration from farm communities after World War II.

  • Impacts of Hispanic Population Growth on Rural Wages

    AER-826, September 24, 2003

    Although earnings generally increased in rural areas in the 1990s, Hispanic population growth led to lower wages for at least one segment of the rural population-workers with a high school degree (skilled workers), particularly men in this skill group. Using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Current Population Survey, this report examines the effects of Hispanic population growth on rural wages. The analysis combines approaches from earlier immigration-impact studies and more recent work that incorporates the role of labor demand in the labor market. The analysis finds that labor demand shift factors and other area-specific factors that often are not included in immigration studies are important. Results indicate that labor demand increases favored skilled workers (those with a high school degree) overall but favored unskilled and professional workers in some rural industries. Thus, the increased supply of unskilled labor from Hispanic population growth led to lower wages for skilled men as a result of production changes in some parts of the rural economy.

  • Data Feature

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2003

    In recent years, nonmetropolitan (nonmetro) areas have become more socially and economically integrated with metropolitan (metro) areas. Still, newly released data from the 2000 Census of Population and Housing, along with new metropolitan area definitions, show nonmetro areas continue to lag metro areas in many respects.

  • Nonmetro Black Migration Reverses Trends of Earlier Decades

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2003

    The migration of Blacks out of the rural South was one of the most dramatic population trends of the 20th century. Between 1940 and 1970, about 4 million Blacks (out of an average annual base of less than 11 million) left the South altogether, while large numbers also moved from the countryside into southern cities. With farming no longer the major employment of Blacks who have remained in the rural South, what are the more recent patterns since the end of the large midcentury migration?

  • Hispanics Find a Home in Rural America

    Amber Waves, February 03, 2003

    Hispanics are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, and this growth is especially striking in rural America. The 2000 census shows that Hispanics accounted for only 5.5 percent of the Nation's nonmetro population, but 25 percent of nonmetro population growth during the 1990s.

  • Rural America: Opportunities and Challenges

    Amber Waves, February 03, 2003

    At the beginning of the 21st century, some rural areas have shared in the economic progress of the Nation, while others have not. The opportunities and challenges facing rural America are as varied as rural America itself.

  • The Roots of Rural Population Loss

    Amber Waves, February 03, 2003

    Over half of the U.S. counties where farming accounted for at least 20 percent of earnings in 1987-89 had fewer residents in 2000 than in 1990. The 565 farming-dependent counties represent about a quarter of all rural counties, but they make up nearly two-thirds of the counties with population losses of over 5 percent in 1990-2000.

  • Rural America at a Glance

    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, along with recently released information from the 2000 census, to highlight important population, labor market, income, and poverty trends in rural areas. The format of the report incorporates text bullets with charts and maps to make the report easy-to-read and visually interesting. 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.