Publications

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  • 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.

  • Rural Populations Have Higher Rates of Chronic Disease

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2010

    Rural residents have higher rates of mortality, chronic disease, and disability than their urban counterparts. Special challenges that may impair the health status of rural residents include their lower socioeconomic status, higher average age, and more limited access to affordable, nearby, high-quality health care than urban residents.

  • Geographic Targeting Issues in the Delivery of Rural Development Assistance

    EIB-65, April 30, 2010

    This report uses analysis of the geographic distribution of Federal funding to discuss potential tradeoffs for distressed rural areas when shifting from one form of rural development assistance to another, particularly when shifting to greater use of Government-guaranteed loans. The study also uses correlation analysis to document the extent of targeting rural development programs to highly rural areas and to rural areas experiencing distress in the form of poverty, low employment, and population decline. Findings indicate that distressed rural areas might fare worse than other nonmetro areas with some kinds of shifts, such as reducing grants and direct Government loans to fund increases in guaranteed loans. The effects on distressed areas would depend on the form of distress, the programs involved, and how they are targeted geographically.

  • 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.

  • Farm Household Well-Being: Comparing Consumption- and Income-Based Measures

    ERR-91, February 12, 2010

    ERS presents, for the first time, estimates of farm households' consumption expenditures and compares them to consumption estimates for all U.S. households. Consumption can complement indicators of household income in assessing economic well-being.

  • 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.

  • Taking the Pulse of Rural Health Care

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2009

    Rural households have higher rates of mortality, disability, and chronic disease than urban households, and less access to affordable, nearby, high-quality health care. Adoption of new health information technologies, promoted by a $19 billion allocation in the 2009 economic stimulus package, holds promise for improving coordination among geographically dispersed health care providers.

  • On The Map: Highest Mortality Rates in the South

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2009

    U.S. counties with the highest mortality rates are in the South, including the Black Belt region of the Southeastern U.S., the Mississippi River Delta, along the southern coastal plain from Virginia to Texas, and Appalachia.

  • Health Status and Health Care Access of Farm and Rural Populations

    EIB-57, August 17, 2009

    ERS examines available research on health status trends of farm and rural households, their health care coverage and expenditures, and access to health care resources in rural and urban areas.

  • Baby Boom Migration and Its Impact on Rural America

    ERR-79, August 10, 2009

    If baby boomers follow past migration patterns, the nonmetro population age 55-75 will increase by 30 percent between now and 2020, with some rural communities affected more than others.

  • 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.

  • On The Map

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2008

    An average of 17.3 percent (44 million people) of the U.S. population younger than 65 had no health insurance between 2004 and 2006. Most people 65 or older are eligible for Medicare, a health insurance program administered by the U.S. Government. Health insurance varies considerably among States. State differences are largely attributable to variations in the rate of private employer-sponsored insurance and in State and local levels of spending on public programs, such as Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Decisions on the extent of coverage in public programs, except for Medicare, are primarily a State responsibility. The States with the highest uninsured rates generally have larger low-income populations.

  • In The Long Run

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2008

    The nonmetro poverty rate has exceeded the metro rate every year since poverty was first officially measured in the 1960s. Generally, metro and nonmetro poverty follow the same trends over time. The nonmetro poverty rate fell through the 1970s, and then both metro and nonmetro poverty rates began to increase with the 1980-82 recession.

  • 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.

  • The Cost of Living and the Geographic Distribution of Poverty

    ERR-26, September 15, 2006

    Economic Research Reports present original economic analysis, findings, and implications primarily for public and private decisionmakers' staff and researchers. The prevalence of poverty has been greater in nonmetro areas than in metro areas in every year since the 1960s when poverty rates were first officially recorded. This study suggests that adjusting poverty measures to account for cost-of-living differences between metro and nonmetro areas reverses that ranking.

  • 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.

  • Food Assistance Landscape, March 2006

    EIB-6-2, February 15, 2006

    One in five Americans participates in at least one of USDA's food and nutrition assistance programs during the year. In fiscal 2005, an estimated 55 percent of USDA's budget supported the programs that provide children and low-income people with access to food, a healthful diet, and nutrition education. The Economic Research Service (ERS) is responsible for conducting studies and evaluations of USDA's food assistance programs. The Food Assistance Landscape March 2006 uses preliminary data from USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to examine trends in the food assistance programs through fiscal 2005 (October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2005). It also discusses a recent ERS study that examined patterns of entry into and exit from the Food Stamp Program.

  • Data Feature

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2006

    The incidence of poverty is commonly used as an indicator of economic well-being for places or groups of people. But a simple dichotomy of poor versus not poor at a given time may conceal much that would broaden our understanding of poverty. ERS defines counties as high- and persistent-poverty areas if 20 percent or more of their population had poverty-level incomes in each of the four decennial censuses since 1970.

  • 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.