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  • On the Map: Increases in U.S. Poverty Rate Were Highest in the Manufacturing Areas of the Midwest and South

    Amber Waves, June 05, 2012

    Increases in the poverty rate between 2000 and 2006-10 were often highest in regions that suffered the largest increases in unemployment rates during the 2007-09 recession, such as the Great Lakes and Southern Highland regions.

  • Potential Rural Implications of Federal Budget Pressures

    Amber Waves, June 05, 2012

    In the coming years, anticipated deficit reduction legislation could affect rural America. It is too early to know with any certainty which Federal programs will be affected, or by how much, but the current composition of rural Federal funding receipts can reveal insights about rural America's potential vulnerability to budget cuts.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Per Capita Income Grows Faster in Delta Regional Authority Counties

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2012

    Growth in per capita income averaged about $600 higher in DRA-funded nonmetro counties in 2002-07 than in similarly distressed counties outside the region, mainly due to increased health and social services sector earnings and increased medical transfer payments.

  • Hispanics Contribute to Increasing Diversity in Rural America

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2011

    During a decade of diminished population growth across rural and small-town America, Hispanic population growth and geographic dispersion during 2000-2010 was a strong driver of demographic change, as it has been for at least two decades.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • Recession in 2007-09 Widened and Deepened Nonmetro Poverty

    Amber Waves, June 16, 2011

    The 2007-09 recession was particularly severe in the depth of poverty it engendered. Relative to previous recessions, those residing in nonmetro areas, particularly children, were among the most affected by deepening poverty.

  • Mapping Population and Economic Trends in Rural and Small-Town America

    Amber Waves, March 14, 2011

    The ERS Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America helps shed light on the overall scope and diversity of demographic, economic, and social trends across the United States by providing county-level mapping of over 60 statistical indicators.

  • On the Map: Location of Agritourism Farms Influenced by Amenities

    Amber Waves, March 14, 2011

    The share of county farms engaged in agritourism is high in the West, where agricultural lands tend to have lower yields due to low rainfall and mountainous terrain.

  • The Two Faces of Rural Population Loss Through Outmigration

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2010

    Nearly half of the Nation’s nonmetropolitan counties lost population through net outmigration between 1988 and 2008, but the underlying causes and potential policy solutions vary widely.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2010

    Selected statistics on agriculture and trade, diet and health, natural resources, and rural America

  • 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.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2010

    Research area charts from the September 2012 issue of Amber Waves

  • Comparing the Structure, Size, and Performance of Local and Mainstream Food Supply Chains

    ERR-99, June 21, 2010

    A series of coordinated case studies compares the structure, size, and performance of local food supply chains with those of mainstream supply chains in delivering locally produced food to consumers.

  • Half of Farm Expenditures Are Spent Locally

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2010

    About half of all farm input and equipment expenditures were made locally in 2004. But over 40 percent of all U.S. farms are located in metro areas so that farm business expenditures may have relatively minor impacts on nearby urban communities and are unlikely to flow to more distant rural suppliers.

  • 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.