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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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Gulf Opportunity Zone Helped Affected Counties Recover Economically After Hurricane Katrina

    Amber Waves, October 03, 2016

    Holding other factors constant, such as assistance from traditional disaster relief programs, findings show significant differences in income and employment growth between counties that suffered relatively small losses from Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Opportunity Zone and similar counties outside of that zone.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

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