Stay Connected

Follow ERS on Twitter
Subscribe to RSS feeds
Subscribe to ERS e-Newsletters.aspx
Listen to ERS podcasts
Read ERS blogs at USDA

David McGranahan

Senior Economist


David McGranahan is again a Senior Economist in the Rural Economy Branch, Resource and Rural Economics Division, after serving several years as Branch Chief. His long-term research has focused on rural population and business change, with projects on the roles of natural amenities, rural enterprise innovation, and the "creative class." Current work include a study of rural obesity and health.


Ph.D., Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A., Rural Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison; B.A. Economics, Harvard University

Professional Affiliations:

Southern Regional Science Association (Past-president); Regional Science Association International; Rural Sociological Society; American Agricultural Economic Association (intermittent)

Selected Publications:

Jilcott Pitts, S.B., Edwards, M.B., Moore, J.B., Shores, K.A., Drowatzky DuBose, K., and McGranahan, D.A., “Obesity Is Inversely Associated With Natural Amenities and Recreation Facilities Per Capita,” Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 10: 1032-1038.

Jilcott, S.B., Moore, J.B., Shores, K.A., Imai, S., & McGranahan, D.A., “Associations Between Natural Amenities, Physical Activity, and Body Mass Index in 100 North Carolina Counties,” American Journal of Health Promotion 26:1 (September/October 2011):52-55.

Sands, R., Westcott, P., and others, Impacts of Higher Energy Prices on Agriculture and Rural Economies, ERR-123 (August 2011).

McGranahan, D.A., Wojan, T.R., & Lambert, D.M. "The Rural Growth Trifecta: Outdoor Amenities, Creative Class and Entrepreneurial Context," Journal of Economic Geography 11:3 (May 2011):529-557.

McGranahan, D., Cromartie, J., & Wojan, T. "The Two Faces of Rural Population Loss Through Outmigration," Amber Waves 8:4 (December 2010):38-45.

McGranahan, D., Cromartie, C., and Wojan, T., Nonmetropolitan Outmigration Counties: Some Are Poor, Many Are Prosperous, ERR-107 (November 2010).

McGranahan, D.A., "Forestland a Big Draw for Rural Living," in An Illustrated Guide to Research Findings from USDA's Economic Research Service, EIB-46 (April 2009):16-17.

McGranahan, D.A. "Scenic Landscapes Enhance Rural Growth," Amber Waves 7:2 (June 2009):9.

McGranahan, D.A., & Thomson, K.J. "Environment, Land Use and Amenities: The New Dimension of Rural Development." EuroChoices 7:1 (April 2008): 30-37.

McGranahan, D.A. "Landscape Influence on Recent Rural Migration in the U.S.," Landscape and Urban Planning. 85:3-4 (April 2008): 228-240.

Wojan, T.R., Lambert, D.M., & McGranahan, D.A. "Emoting with Their Feet: Bohemian Attraction to Creative Milieu," Journal of Economic Geography 7:6 (November 2007):711-736.

McGranahan, D.A., & Wojan, T.R. "The Creative Class: A Key to Rural Growth," Amber Waves 5:2 (April 2007):16-21.

McGranahan, D.A., & Wojan, T.R. "Recasting the Creative Class to Examine Growth Processes in Rural and Urban Counties," Regional Studies 41:22 (April 2007):197-216. Reprinted in T.L. Cherry & D. Rickman (eds.), Environmental Amenities and Regional Economic Development. Routledge UK (2009).

Wojan, T.R., & McGranahan, D.A. "Ambient Returns: Creative Capital's Contribution to Local Manufacturing Competitiveness," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 36:1 (April 2007):133-148.

Wojan, T.R., Lambert, D.M., & McGranahan, D.A. "The Emergence of Artistic Havens: A First Look," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 36:1 (April 2007):53-70.

McGranahan, D. A. "The Importance of Natural Amenities," Annex 6 in Handbook on Rural Households' Livelihood and Well-Being: Statistics on Rural Development and Agriculture Household Income. New York: United Nations, 2007.

McGranahan, D., Bollman, R., & Karlsson, J. "Data Sources," Chapter 6 in Handbook on Rural Households' Livelihood and Well-Being: Statistics on Rural Development and Agriculture Household Income. New York: United Nations, 2007. Shoemaker, R., McGranahan, D., & McBride, W. "Agriculture and Rural Communities Are Resilient to High Energy Costs," Amber Waves 4:2 (April 2006):16-21.

McGranahan, D., & Sullivan, P. "Farm Programs, Natural Amenities, and Rural Development," Amber Waves 3:1 (February 2005):28-35.

McGranahan, D.A. "The Persistence of County High School Dropout Rates in the Rural South, 1970-2000," Review of Regional Studies 34:3 (Winter 2004):288-302.

Sullivan, P., Hellerstein, D., McGranahan, D., & Vogel, S. "Farmland Retirement's Impact on Rural Growth," Amber Waves 2:5 (November 2004):22-29. Reprinted, Amber Waves, July 2006.

Sullivan, P., & others. Conservation Reserve Program: Economic Implications for Rural America, ERS-AER 834 (September 2004).

McGranahan, D.A. "How People Make a Living in Rural America." In D.L. Brown and L.E. Swanson (eds), Challenges for Rural America in the 21st Century. Penn State University Press (2003).

McGranahan, D.A., & Beale, C.L. "The Roots of Rural Population Loss," Amber Waves 1:1 (February 2003):10.

Whitener, L., & McGranahan, D.A. "Rural America: Opportunities and Challenges," Amber Waves 1:1 (February 2003):14-21.

McGranahan, D.A. "Local Context and Advanced Technology Use by Small, Independent Manufacturers in Rural Areas," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 84:5 (December 2002):1237-1245.

McGranahan, D.A., & Beale, C.L. "Understanding Rural Population Loss," Rural America, 17:4 (Winter 2002):2-11.

McGranahan, D.A. "New Economy Manufacturing Meets Old Economy Education Policies in the Rural South," Rural America 15:4(Winter 2001):19-27.

McGranahan, D.A. "The Importance of Manufacturing in the Rural South," The Rural South: Preparing for the Challenges of the 21st Century, No. 22, Mississippi State, Southern Rural Development Center, September 2001.

McGranahan, D.A. "Patterns in Skills and Manufacturing in Rural and Urban America." In S. A. Rosenfeld (ed.), Learning Now: Skills for the Information Economy, Community College Press, Washington, DC, 2000, pp. 53-68.

Gale, H.F., McGranahan, D.A., & others. Rural Competitiveness: Results of the 1996 Rural Manufacturing Survey, AER 776 (1999).

McGranahan, D.A. "The Geography of New Manufacturing Technology: Implications for the Nonmetropolitan South," Southern Rural Sociology, 15 (1999):84-103.

McGranahan, D.A. Natural Amenities Drive Rural Population Change, AER-781, (1999).

Earlier research appeared in ERS reports, Growth and Change, Rural Sociology, Regional Science Review, and American Sociological Review.

Last updated: Monday, May 04, 2015

For more information contact: Website Administrator