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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Targeting Investments To Cost Effectively Restore and Protect Wetland Ecosystems: Some Economic Insights

    ERR-183, February 19, 2015

    ERS findings suggest how and where funds for wetland protection and restoration might be targeted within States, regions, and across the United States to maximize environmental benefits relative to costs.

  • 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

    Total employment loss rates during 2007-09 were slightly larger in rural (nonmetro) than urban (metro) counties and began a year earlier. Rural employment growth has lagged behind urban areas since the first half of 2011. About two-fifths of the rural employment growth deficit is due to rural counties having a lower population growth trend and an older, less well-educated workforce.

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • Onshore Oil and Gas Development in the Lower 48 States: Introducing a County-Level Database of Production for 2000-2011

    Amber Waves, February 03, 2014

    Until now, there has been no publicly available nationwide data on oil and gas production at the county level. County-level data from oil and/or natural gas producing States were compiled on a State-by-State basis. Most States have production statistics available by field, county, or well, and these data were compiled at the county level to create a database of county-level production, 2000-11.

  • Energy Development’s Impacts on Rural Employment Growth

    Amber Waves, December 16, 2013

    Energy Development’s Impacts on Rural Employment Growth.

  • Effects of U.S. Wind Power Development on County-Level Income and Employment

    Amber Waves, February 21, 2013

    ERS, in collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, recently completed a study of the effects of wind power development on county-level income and employment in 12 States of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions. Findings reveal an aggregate increase in county-level personal income and employment of approximately $11,000 and 0.5 jobs per megawatt of wind power capacity installed over the study period 2000 to 2008.

  • Rural America At A Glance, 2012 Edition

    EB-21, December 13, 2012

    This update in the annual series focuses on U.S. recovery from the 2007-09 recession, with recovery slower in nonmetro than in metro areas. As of July 2012, nonmetro employment, e.g., remained more than 3 percent below its 2007 peak.

  • Creating Rural Wealth: A New Lens for Rural Development Efforts

    Amber Waves, September 20, 2012

    Rural development efforts that create and maintain a broad portfolio of wealth may be central to sustainable rural prosperity.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Baby Boom Migration Tilts Toward Rural America

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2009

    If baby boomers follow migration patterns similar to those of their predecessors, the rural population age 55-75 will increase by 30 percent between 2010 and 2020. Local economic development strategies aimed at attracting more jobs will likely have little effect on the migration decisions of baby boomers searching for a better quality of life.

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Last updated: Tuesday, January 30, 2018

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