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Publications

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64 publications, sorted by date 

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.
AP-067, September 12, 2014
Examples from ERS's updated collection of 70 charts/maps, each with accompanying text, covering key statistics on farming, food spending and prices, food security, rural communities, interaction of agriculture and the environment, and more.
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.
ERR-159, November 21, 2013
Production of wind power, corn-based ethanol, and unconventionally extracted natural gas more than doubled overall from 2000 to 2010. ERS looks at the contribution these emerging-energy industries have made to local economies.
EB-24, November 07, 2013
Since 2011, net job growth in nonmetro areas has been near zero while metro employment has grown 1.4 percent annually. Meanwhile, the first recorded period of nonmetro population loss occurred between 2010 and 2012.
EB-25, November 07, 2013
Veterans possess education and skill levels that position them to contribute economically to rural communities. ERS presents a social and demographic profile of veterans residing in rural areas.
AP-062, September 16, 2013
This collection of nine charts and maps presents essential information on the farm sector, food spending and prices, food security, rural communities, and the interaction of agriculture and natural resources.
EB-23, June 20, 2013
Rural household Internet and broadband subscription rates generally fall below urban rates, but rural areas gained broadband subscribers faster in 2009-10.
EIB-107, February 04, 2013
Key elements of proposed tax reform, reducing accelerated deductions for capital purchases and raising capital gains tax rates, could increase tax liabilities for many farmers. Other elements could reduce tax liabilities.
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.
EIB-101, October 31, 2012
Nearly a third of U.S. farm households generate income by engaging in business ventures independent of commodity production, creating $26.7 billion in household income in 2007, from both on- and off-farm enterprises.
ERR-134, May 16, 2012
A number of rural development initiatives have targeted farm-related activities (e.g., agritourism, energy production). ERS examines the characteristics of farms and farm households involved in such activities.
ERR-131, March 14, 2012
No wealth creation strategy will work in all contexts. Rural communities able to identify strategies best suited to their existing wealth endowments and local priorities are likely in the best position to create wealth.
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.
ERR-123, August 18, 2011
ERS looks at direct and indirect impacts of higher energy prices on the agricultural and rural sectors, with scenarios developed for specific energy price changes.
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...
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.
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...
ERR-99, June 21, 2010
A series of coordinated case studies compares the structure, size, and performance of local food supply chains with those of mainstream supply chains in delivering locally produced food to consumers.
EIB-63, February 18, 2010
ERS documents the changing distribution and character of small farms as ag production becomes more concentrated. Commercially oriented small farms, those accounting for most small-farm production, continue to decline in number in the face of large-farm competition.
ERR-91, February 12, 2010
ERS presents, for the first time, estimates of farm households’ consumption expenditures and compares them to consumption estimates for all U.S. households. Consumption can complement indicators of household income in assessing economic well-being.
EIB-62, December 07, 2009
Beginning, limited-resource, and socially disadvantaged farmers make up as much as 40 percent of all U.S. farms. Some Federal conservation programs contain provisions that encourage participation by such “targeted” farmers and the 2008 Farm Act furthered these efforts. This report compares the natur...
EIB-59, September 04, 2009
Update of an annual series, the 2009 edition of Rural America At A Glance deals with effects of the major recession on rural America. Initially, effects of the recession were mitigated in nonmetro areas by high commodity prices throughout much of 2008, but as the recession deepened, prices fell. Bot...
ERR-78, August 17, 2009
Broadband access is necessary to fully utilize Internet potential, and rural areas without broadband access may be disadvantaged. ERS examines recent growth in broadband access in rural areas and the impacts of broadband on their economies.
EIB-57, August 17, 2009
ERS examines available research on health status trends of farm and rural households, their health care coverage and expenditures, and access to health care resources in rural and urban areas.
ERR-79, August 10, 2009
If baby boomers follow past migration patterns, the nonmetro population age 55-75 will increase by 30 percent between now and 2020, with some rural communities affected more than others.
EIB-48, April 01, 2009
This book contains a sampling of recent ERS research illustrating the breadth of the Agency's research on current policy issues: from biofuels to food consumption to land conservation to patterns of trade for agricultural products.
EIB-47, February 27, 2009
Six-page brochure presents information and data on broadband availability and use, and the relationship of broadband to rural businesses and to key services for rural residents.
AP-031, January 02, 2009
Among the many responsibilities of USDA are implementing the Food Stamp Program and other food and nutrition assistance programs; managing Federal forest land; implementing standards of humane care and treatment of animals; providing incentives for adopting wildlife habitat enhancements and other co...
EIB-40, October 31, 2008
Rural America At A Glance, 2008 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 2008 edition focuses on employment, poverty, population change, and demographic characteristics of non...
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 researcher...
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 ...
EIB-21, December 29, 2006
Rural Employment At A Glance is a six-page brochure that highlights the most recent indicators of employment and unemployment in rural areas. It documents changes and differences in metro and nonmetro employment growth, unemployment, earnings per job, and occupational mix, as well as differences acr...
EIB-18, August 29, 2006
Rural America At A Glance, 2006 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 brochure provides information on key rural conditions and trends for use by public and private decisio...
EB-1, March 14, 2006
A multitude of design decisions influence the performance of voluntary conservation programs. This Economic Brief is one of a set of five exploring the implications of decisions policymakers and program managers must make about who is eligible to receive payments, how much can be received, for what ...
WRS-0601, January 11, 2006
China has substantially boosted lending to farmers and agribusinesses in recent years. The balance of loans to farmers doubled between 2001 and 2005. Loans for agribusinesses and rural infrastructure rose as well. Rural credit cooperatives and banks that lend to agriculture are being reformed and co...
EIB-8, December 28, 2005
Rural Hispanics at a Glance provides the latest information from the 2000 Census and other Federal data sources about Hispanics living in nonmetro counties. This six-page brochure highlights growth and geographic dispersion, demographic characteristics, and the most recent indicators of social and e...
ERR-10, October 31, 2005
ERS examined the relationship between employment trends and industrial and occupational shifts in rural America. Among the findings: The share of low-skill jobs in the rural employment mix fell by 2.2 percentage points between 1990 and 2000, to 42.2 percent, slower than the 5-percentage-point drop i...
EIB-4, September 22, 2005
Rural America At A Glance, 2005 is a six-page brochure that 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 is the fourth in a series of reports that uses current social and economi...
ERR-7, August 09, 2005
Recreation and tourism development generally increases local employment, wage levels, and income in rural areas. Drawbacks include higher housing costs. Local effects vary significantly, depending on the type of recreation area.
EIB-1, April 06, 2005
Recent data on the demographic, social, and economic characteristics of rural children include comparison of metro and nonmetro poverty rates and participation in food assistance programs, as well as the geographic distribution of child poverty.
AIB-795, January 12, 2005
This six-page brochure provides the latest information on transportation in rural America. The effects of deregulation, devolution of Federal transportation responsibilities to the States, increased Federal funding, and heightened security concerns are discussed in the context of each of the individ...
AER-834, October 08, 2004
This report estimates the impact that high levels of enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) have had on economic trends in rural counties since the program’s inception in 1985 until today. The results of a growth model and quasi-experimental control group analysis indicate no discernib...
AIB-793, September 30, 2004
Rural America At A Glance, 2004 is a six-page brochure that 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 is the third in a series of reports that uses current social and economic...
RDRR-100, July 20, 2004
This publication provides the most recent information on poverty trends and demographic characteristics of the rural poor. The rate of poverty is not only an important social indicator of the well-being of the least well off, but it is also widely used as an input in shaping Federal policies and tar...
RDRR-99, May 28, 2004
Since 1980, the nonmetro Hispanic population in the United States has doubled and is now the most rapidly growing demographic group in rural and small-town America. By 2000, half of all nonmetro Hispanics lived outside traditional settlement areas of the Southwest. Many Hispanics in counties that ha...
RDRR-98, January 29, 2004
This report provides the latest information from the 2000 Census and other Federal sources on the education characteristics of rural workers and counties. It documents the steady rise in rural adult educational attainment in the 1990s and the increasing importance of education to rural workers and p...
RDRR-97-1, September 02, 2003
Rural America At A Glance is a six-page brochure that highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. This brochure is the second in a series of reports that uses current social and economic dat...
RDRR-96, June 25, 2003
While the greater incidence of poverty in nonmetro relative to metro areas is well documented, there is little research as to whether it is deeper or more severe in nonmetro areas. This report examines metro-nonmetro differences in U.S. poverty rates, using data from Current Population Surveys (1991...
RA-174, January 14, 2003
This issue discusses a number of topics concerning rural America, including rural population loss and migration, recreation counties and their rapid growth, U.S.-China trade, federal funding in rural America, rural land ownership, rural infrastructure, and rural employment growth. Updates on rural c...
RDRR-95, December 30, 2002
An analysis of on-the-job computer use shows that such use is more common in metro areas than in nonmetro areas. A substantial wage premium, 10 to 11 percent, is associated with using a computer on the job, even after other job and worker characteristics are taken into account. However, this wage pr...
RDRR-94-1, September 13, 2002
Rural America At A Glance is a six-page brochure that highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. This brochure is the first in a series of reports that uses current social and economic data...
WRS-0201, July 30, 2002
This report assesses the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on U.S. agriculture and trade. It also contains sections on investment, employment, the environment, and transportation, as well as detailed commodity assessments of the impact of NAFTA on trade.
FANRR-26-4, June 03, 2002
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act dramatically altered the social safety net for poor Americans, including the 7 million people living in poverty in nonmetro areas. This issue brief examines evidence from recent research about rural-urban differences in welfare refo...
RDRR-92, October 15, 2001
During 1995-97, 3.4 million workers were displaced from their jobs, of whom 500,000 (15 percent) were nonmetro workers. This report examines the displaced workers' experience in metro and nonmetro areas using survey and administrative data. Although nonmetro workers were less likely to be displaced ...
AIB-752, July 01, 1999
For U.S. agriculture to continue along a sustainable path of economic development, further production increases must be generated by technologies that are both profitable and more environmentally benign. In this context, we assess the role of these green or sustainable technologies in steering agric...
BLA-133, April 30, 1999
This annotated bibliography summarizes studies of the rural economic development implications of highway investment. Primary emphasis is on research dealing with rural areas, but some urban studies are also cited. Topics covered include the aggregate economic effects of highway investment, the effec...
AER-776, March 01, 1999
Establishments in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan locations are surprisingly similar in their adoption of new technologies, worker skill requirements, use of government programs and technical assistance, exports, and sources of financing, according to the results of a nationwide survey of 3,909 man...
AIB-741, July 20, 1998
Many rural communities have benefited from the attraction of retirees in recent years. With the baby boom generation beginning to make retirement decisions, many other rural communities might consider economic development strategies based on attracting and retaining retirees. This report reviews th...
AIB-737, October 01, 1997
Factors related to local and regional economic growth are attractiveness to retirees, right-to-work laws, excellent high school completion rates, good public education expenditures, and access to transportation networks. These were associated with improved county earnings in 1979-89, according to a ...
AER-749, April 01, 1997
In response to a mandate in the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, this report provides information on the major financial institutions and Federal programs active in rural America, the performance of rural financial markets, and the costs and benefits of proposals to expand the...
AER-731, August 01, 1996
Rural minorities lag behind rural Whites and urban minorities on many crucial economic and social measures. This report examines rural Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian and Pacific Islander populations and their economic well-being in the 1980's, an economically difficult decade for rural ...
AIB-710, February 01, 1995
The diversity of rural America and the changes it has undergone in the last half century have resulted in a wide variety of economic conditions and needs. This full-color report documents changes in rural employment, population, and well-being for six categories of rural counties: those that depend ...
RDRR-49, September 18, 1985
Effective rural development planning depends on facts and analysis based, not on national rural averages, but on the diverse social and economic structure of rural America. Programs tailored to particular types of rural economies may be more effective than a generalized program. This study identifie...

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