Publications

Sort by: Title | Date
  • Rural America at a Glance, 2017 Edition

    EIB-182, November 16, 2017

    The rural population is shrinking due to outmigration of young adults, fewer births, increased mortality among working-age adults, and an aging population. Rural job growth since 2011 has been well below the urban growth rate.

  • Veterans Are Positioned To Contribute Economically to Rural Communities

    Amber Waves, September 05, 2017

    Veterans are a rapidly aging and increasingly diverse group disproportionally represented by rural Americans. Nearly 19 million veterans lived in the United States in 2015, about 3.4 million of them were located in rural areas. Examining data from the U.S. Census Bureau can reveal information about who they are, where they live, the type of work they do, and how they fare economically.

  • Rural Areas Show Overall Population Decline and Shifting Regional Patterns of Population Change

    Amber Waves, September 05, 2017

    The number of people living in rural (nonmetro) counties stood at 46.1 million in July 2016. The rural population declined by 21,000 between July 2015 and July 2016, the sixth consecutive year of modest population losses. Although many rural counties have shown population losses for decades, this is the first period on record of overall rural population decline.

  • Rural Education at a Glance, 2017 Edition

    EIB-171, April 06, 2017

    Educational attainment is growing in rural America, but gains vary across demographic groups. Low education in some rural areas is closely related to high poverty and unemployment rates.

  • Using the ERS County Economic Types To Explore Demographic and Economic Trends in Rural Areas

    Amber Waves, December 05, 2016

    ERS’s County Typology Codes allow for the analysis of recent rural demographic and economic trends across economic specializations.

  • Rural America at a Glance, 2016 Edition

    EIB-162, November 14, 2016

    After declining for several years, rural population stabilized. Median annual earnings rose in rural areas and poverty fell markedly in 2015, as in urban areas; the rise in earnings occurred across most major industry sectors.

  • Five Years of Population Loss in Rural and Small-Town America May Be Ending

    Amber Waves, June 06, 2016

    Nonmetro population declined by just 4,000 from July 2014 to July 2015 after 4 years of population losses averaging 33,000 yearly. The 2014-15 improvement in nonmetro population change coincides with rural economic recovery and suggests that this first-ever period of overall population decline (from 2010 to 2015) may be ending.

  • Understanding the Rise in Rural Child Poverty, 2003-14

    ERR-208, May 16, 2016

    Rural child poverty rose between 2003 and 2014, increasing even in pre- and post-recession years. ERS looks at the effects of declining average incomes among rural families and rising rural income inequality.

  • Understanding Trends in Rural Child Poverty, 2003-14

    Amber Waves, May 16, 2016

    The share of rural children living below the official poverty line rose from 20.1 percent in 2003 to 26.7 percent in 2012, before declining to 23.7 percent in 2014. The cause of the net increase from 2003 to 2014 was not primarily a reduction in average family incomes in rural areas; rather, it was an increase in income inequality between low-income and middle-income rural families.

  • Rural America at a Glance, 2015 Edition

    EIB-145, November 30, 2015

    Rural employment gains were significantly higher over the past year than in recent years, but employment remains below pre-recession levels. Rural areas still suffer population loss, higher poverty, and lower education than urban areas.

  • Foundation Giving to Rural Areas in the United States Is Disproportionately Low

    Amber Waves, August 03, 2015

    ERS estimates that the value of U.S. foundation grants to benefit rural areas was 6-7 percent of total domestic grants in 2010.

  • Population Loss in Nonmetro Counties Continues

    Amber Waves, August 03, 2015

    Nonmetro areas in some parts of the country have experienced population loss for decades. However, 2010-14 marks the first period with an estimated population loss for nonmetro America as a whole. Opportunities for population growth and economic expansion vary widely from one nonmetro county to the next, and new regional patterns of growth and decline have emerged in recent years.

  • Understanding the Geography of Growth in Rural Child Poverty

    Amber Waves, July 06, 2015

    Over 1 in 4 rural children are living in families that are poor. Counties with high vulnerability to child poverty, those with both low young adult education levels and high proportions of children in single-parent families, were generally the most hard-hit by the recession of the past decade and experienced substantial increases in their already high child poverty rates.

  • Factors Affecting Former Residents' Returning to Rural Communities

    ERR-185, May 21, 2015

    The desire to raise children back home was among the most frequently cited reasons for returning to live in relatively remote rural areas. Most nonreturnees who considered returning cited limited career opportunities as the primary barrier.

  • Rural America at a Glance, 2014 Edition

    EB-26, November 06, 2014

    While urban employment now exceeds pre-recession levels, rural employment remains well below its 2007 peak. Median income in real terms has fallen in both rural and urban areas since 2007, with the drop in rural incomes slightly greater.

  • Rural Employment in Recession and Recovery

    Amber Waves, October 06, 2014

    Rural counties as a whole saw a higher rate of employment decline than urban areas in the recession, and rural employment growth has lagged well behind metro growth in the recovery. See October Amber Waves.

  • What Happened to the “'Creative Class' Job Growth Engine” During the Recession and Recovery?

    Amber Waves, October 06, 2014

    The severity of the 2007/09 economic recession and the subsequent slow rural recovery has heightened interest in the concept of economic resilience: the ability of a local economy to bounce back from declines in employment, earnings, and output. One human capital resource that may facilitate this flexibility is the share of local employment in the “creative class.”

  • Rural Employment Trends in Recession and Recovery

    ERR-172, August 25, 2014

    National nonfarm employment fell by 6.3 percent from its peak in January 2008 to its nadir in February 2010. Nonmetro employment recovered just 0.2 percent from the fourth quarter 2010 to 2013, versus 3.6 percent in metro areas.

  • Natural Gas Extraction and Local Economies—No Evidence of a “Natural Resource Curse”

    Amber Waves, August 04, 2014

    In the 2000s, natural gas production from shale formations increased tenfold in the United States, and growth in production has continued through 2013. Opponents of hydraulic fracturing cite environmental concerns such as groundwater contamination and air pollution. Proponents often highlight the benefit of natural gas extraction to local and state economies.

  • The Impact of Migration on China’s Rice Production

    Amber Waves, May 05, 2014

    Migration’s farm production impacts in China appear to be slight, not on account of farm labor market perfections or remittance-financed technological improvements, but by substituting a reduction in leisure and other low-return activities for lost labor.