Publications

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  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2008

    Indicators tables from the April 2008 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2008

    Research area charts from the April 2008 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    Research area charts from the February 2008 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Education's Role in the Metro-Nonmetro Earnings Divide

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    Average earnings are lower in nonmetro areas than in metro areas, even after accounting for differences in the individual characteristics of nonmetro earners. The nonmetro-metro earnings gap is greater for workers with more education and more experience. For nonmetro households, lower earnings may be offset by factors difficult to measure, such as lower living costs or the value of rural amenities.

  • Agritourism Offers Opportunities For Farm Operators

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    Farm-based recreation provides an important niche market for farmers, but limited empirical information is available on the topic. A recent ERS study found that both farm-based and place-based factors are associated with farm-to-farm variation in agritourism, as well as the amount of income farmers earn from operating a farm-based recreation business.

  • 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.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    Research area charts from the November 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    Indicators tables from the November 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • 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.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Indicators tables from the September 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Research area charts from the September 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • On The Map

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    In many Farm Belt counties, losses in farm-related jobs have not been offset by new types of jobs, resulting in a well-known trend of population loss. What is less known is that nearly 500 nonmetro counties with recent population outmigration also have more deaths than births-known as natural decline-and thus are losing people from two sources. Natural decline stems both from dwindling family size and prolonged outmigration of young adults, resulting in high average age. This phenomenon has spread somewhat into the lower South and is now common in parts of Appalachia, where it also affects many diminished metro industrial areas. The condition, which did not arise overnight, poses difficult development challenges.

  • Rural Low-Wage Workers Face Multiple Economic Disadvantages

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    Low-wage workers made up one-fourth of the rural labor force in 2005. Although most rural low-wage workers are not poor, they are more likely to depend on Federal assistance programs to meet their families' needs than are other rural wage and salary workers.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    Indicators tables from the June 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Policy Options for a Changing Rural America—Updated

    Amber Waves, May 01, 2007

    Rural communities have changed dramatically since 1990 due to increased population from urban areas, shifts in age and ethnic composition, and economic and industrial restructuring. Increasing competition from abroad and sectoral shifts in employment present new challenges and opportunities in the worldwide economy and raise the question-how can rural communities successfully build on their economic base and other assets to retain and attract population and employment. And, when, where, and under what circumstances will rural development strategies be most successful? Rural policy for the future will need to encompass a broad array of issues, and these different rural issues will require different mixes of solutions. Strategies to generate new employment and income opportunities, develop local human resources, and build and expand critical infrastructure hold the most promise for enhancing the economic opportunities and well being of rural America.

  • On The Map

    Amber Waves, May 01, 2007

    In the first half of the current decade, nonmetro America was almost evenly split between counties that grew in population (1,024) and those that declined (1,027). Declining counties contain only 34 percent of all nonmetro residents, however, because most are sparsely settled. Therefore, despite declining population in so many counties, total nonmetro population grew by 1.1 million from April 2000 to July 2005, to a total of 49.9 million.

  • The Creative Class: A Key to Rural Growth

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2007

    The creative class thesis-that towns need to attract engineers, architects, artists, and people in other creative occupations to compete in today's economy-may be particularly relevant to rural communities, which tend to lose much of their talent when young adults leave for college, the Armed Forces, or city lights. The creative class lives mostly in urban settings, but is also found in rural areas with mountains, lakes, and other rural amenities. Nonmetro counties, with higher proportions of people in creative class occupations tended to have higher rates of patent formation and manufacturing technology adoption in the 1990s-and higher rates of job growth in 1990-2004.

  • American Community Survey Enhances Rural Research

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2007

    The new American Community Survey, produced by the U.S. Census Bureau, will produce data on age, race, education, income, migration, commuting, housing, and other socioeconomic characteristics with much greater frequency than the decennial census. Researchers and policymakers interested in learning more about nonmetro (rural) areas will benefit from the ACS.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2007

    Indicators tables from the April 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2007

    Resource area charts from the April 2007 issue of Amber Waves.