Read our curated resources to stay up to date with the research and issues that impact Rural America

2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book

Annie E. Casey Foundation, 6/16/2019
“2019 State Trends in Child Well-Being” – book is downloadable.

Child Poverty Higher in Rural America

by Andrew Schaefer, Marybeth Mattingly, Kenneth Johnson (2016) for Carsey School of Public Policy

Children Living in High Poverty, Low Opportunity Neighborhoods

Annie E. Casey Foundation, 9/24/2019
“In this snapshot on concentrated poverty, you’ll learn which child populations are most likely to live in concentrated poverty … how child poverty rates have changed over time in each state….”

Data Snapshot: Snap Declines Continue in 2016, but not for Rural America

by Jessica Carson (2017) for Carsey School of Public Policy

Delivering Summer Meals to Rural, Low-Income Kids with Retired School Buses

Civil Eats, Chris Hardman, Good Justice, Nutrition, School Food, 6/8/2017
Jun 08, 2017 · The Lunch Express, first developed in 2012, delivers lunch five days a week to children in remote areas of the region using four refurbished school buses. In rural Northeast Tennessee, one in four children lives at or below the poverty level, which translates to a lot of hungry kids.

Falling by the Wayside: Children in Rural America

Children’s Defense Fund – sponsored by Aspen Inst. for Humanistic Studies, New York, NY.; Charles H. Revson Foundation, Inc., New York, NY.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
“Economic, social, and health indicators show t…/hat as many as one-quarter of rural children face problems usually attributed only to inner cities. Rural children are poorer than other American children and are less likely to have access to health insurance, health services, child care, government aid, or adequate housing….”

Farm Family

CHSincorporated, YouTube, 1/5/2017 – VIDEO
See families working on their farms across the Midwest.

Helping out Farm Families and a Quick Update on Things

Millennial Farmers, YouTube, 3/24/2019
“Spring weather, flooding donations, our combine situation, Roudup/glyphosate, No till, and the new podcast. Here’s a quick update on what’s going on!”

Revising the Narrative on Rural America

Aspen Ideas Festival, 2019, Sarah Smarsh, Journalist and Author — Video
“It’s incredibly important for us to be inspired by one and another, to look another in the eye and see goodness.”

Rural Economy and Population

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2019
See conditions in rural America and ERS classification and mapping for “(1) open country, (2) small towns population 2500 and fewer, and (3) urban areas with populations ranging from 2,500 to 49,999 that are not part of larger labor market areas (metropolitan areas).”

UNH Research Show Differences in Rural U.S. Fall Along Income Lines

(2017) for University of New Hampshire

USDA ERS – National School Lunch Program

Apr 03, 2020 · The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is the Nation’s second largest food and nutrition assistance program. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, it operated in nearly 100,000 public and nonprofit private schools (grades PK-12) and residential child care institutions.

USDA ERS – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
USDA ERS – Summer Food Service Program
USDA ERS – Child Nutrition Programs
USDA ERS – School Breakfast Program

America’s Dairy Farmers Are Hurting. A Giant Merger Could Make Things Worse.


Can a Coal Town Reinvent Itself?


Flimflam men. Flimflam statistics.

Washington Post, Dana Milbank, 5/29/2020
“Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp needed a way to show that he hadn’t been rash to reopen restaurants, theaters, nail salons and the like in late April….
“…They doctored the statistics….
“…Only in Brian Kemp’s Georgia is the first Thursday in May followed immediately by the last Sunday in April…” [More ‘mistakes’ followed.]

More Americans Credit Obama than Trump for Economy

by Jacqueline Thomsen (2018) for The Hill

Rural Poverty Skyrockets as Jobs move away

by Reid Wilson (2017) for The Hill

Trump Has Promised to Bring Jobs Back. His Tariffs Threaten to Send Them Away.


Trump is getting played by China on Trade

by Josh Rogin (2019) for The Washington Post

What Would Jesus Do About Inequality?


A Cess Pool of a Dungeon: The Surging Population in Rural Jails


All 98 Environmental Rules the Trump Administration is Revoking or Rolling Back

The New York Times, Nadia Popovich, Kendra Pierre-Louis, Livia Albeck-Ripka, 5/10/2020

After three years in office, the ..Trump administration has dismantled most of the major climate and environmental policies the president promised to undo. … All told, the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks could significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions and lead to thousands of extra death from poor air quality each year, according to energy and legal analysts.

Black Voters weighed history, health in Wisconsin elections

Washington Post, Christina A. Cassidy, Gretchen Elhke – AP, 4/8/2020
“MILWAUKEE, Wis. — After going to sleep angry and afraid to vote, Xavier Thomas woke up on election day in Wisconsin thinking about how hard black people had to fight for the right to cast a ballot. … “We had to be wiling to die to get our vote, and the same thing is happening right now,” said Thomas, a 33-year-old director of youth ministry at a Milwaukee church.

Defining Rural at the U.S. Census Bureau

America Counts Staff, 8/9/2017

One in Five Americans live in Rural America

“…In general, rural areas are sparsely populated, have low housing density, and are far from /13/2018 centers. Urban areas make up only 3 percent of the entire land area of the country but are home to more than 80 percent of the population. Conversely, 97 percent of the country’s land mass is rural but only 19.3 percent of the population lives there….”

Demographic and economic trends in urban, suburban and rural communities

Pew Institute, Kim Parker, Juliana Menasce Horowitz, Anna Brown, Richard Fry, D’vera Cohn, Ruth Igielnik, 5/22/18

Three key demographic forces have reshaped the overall U.S. population in recent years: growing racial and ethnic diversity, increasing immigration and rising suburban communities, touching some moe than others.” In summary,

  • Half of rural counties have fewer residents than in 2000
  • Urban counties have grown at the national average – 13%
  • Suburban and small cities have grown more robustly

One in Five Americans Live in Rural Areas

America Counts Staff, 8/9/2017

“…In general, rural areas are sparsely populated, have low housing density, and are far from /13/2018 centers. Urban areas make up only 3 percent of the entire land area of the country but are home to more than 80 percent of the population. Conversely, 97 percent of the country’s land mass is rural but only 19.3 percent of the population lives there …”. Learn more at “Defining Rural at the U.S. Census Bureau”

Population 2020 Census Faces Challenges in Rural America

by William O’Hare (2017) for Carsey School of Public Policy

The Canvass: States and Election Policy

National Conference of State Legislatures, April 2020

State Response to Coronavirus and Elections”: In summary – Key advise about:

  • Delaying Elections,
  • Encouraging Absentees Ballots, and
  • Moving to Mail-In Ballots

Trump is Pushing a False Argument on Vote-by-Mail Fraud. Here are the Facts.

The New York Times, Stephanie Saul, Reid J. Epstein, 4/11/2019

“All voter fraud is extremely rare.

“…Studies have shown that all forms of voting fraud are extremely rare in the United States. A national study in 2016 found few credible allegations of fraudulent voting. A panel that Mr. Trump charged with investigating election corruption found no real evidence of fraud before he disbanded it in 2018….”

Trump’s coronavirus Commentary bolsters attack ads questioning his fitness to lead

Washington Post, Toluse Olorunnipa, Annie Linskey, 4/6/2020
Within days of President Trump’s assertion that “I don’t take responsibility at all” for coronavirus testing failure

What Unites Urban, Suburban and Rural Communities

Pew Research Center, Kim Parker, Juliana Menasce Horowitz, Anna Brown, Richard Fry, D’Vera Cohn, Ruth Igielnik, 5/22/2018

Who Represents Me

Find out who your representatives in Congress are.

A Hospital Crisis is Killing Rural Communities. This state is ground zero.

by Dustin Chambers (2017) for Huffington Post

All nations should have universal health care

by Shinzo Abe and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (2019) for The Washington Post

As Opioid Use Climbs, NeoNatal Abstinence Syndrome Rises in New Hampshire

by Carsey School of Public Policy (2017)

Clean Water Matters: “Rural America’s Drinking Water Crisis”

by Sarah Jones and Emily Atkin (2018) for The New Republic

COVID-19 May hit rural residents hard, and that spells trouble because of lack of Rural Healthcare

University of South Carolina, Kenneth J. Bennett, 4/13/2018

“The burden of COVID-19 in rural areas has been under the radar, as the toll of the disease so far has been heaviest in dense urban areas. But up to 30% of the U.S. population lives in rural America, which already has experienced more than 128 hospital closures since 2010, including 19 last year….”

Drugs, Alcohol and Suicide Represent a Growing Share of U.S. Mortality

by Shannon Monnat (2017) for Carsey School of Public Policy

First Evidence Found of Popular Farm Pesticides in Drinking Water

by Ben Guarino (2017) for The Washington Post

G20 Extraordinary Agriculture Ministers Statement

Ministerial Statement on COVID-19, Virtual Meeting, 4/21/2020

“…We will guard against any unjustified restrictive measures that could lead to excessive food price volatility in international markets and threaten the food security and nutrition of large proportions of the world population, especially the most vulnerable living in environments of low food security. We agree that emergency measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic must be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary, and that they do not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global food supply chains, and are consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules….”

Medicare cuts hurt rural America

by Rural Health Web

New CDC Report Shows Cancer Rates Higher in Rural America

(2017) CDC press release

Opioid Overdose Crisis

(2019) National Institute on Drug Abuse

Redesign Required: Principles for Reimagining Federal Rural Policy in the COVAD-19 Era

The Aspen Institute – first in a three-part series, Kathryn Ferguson, Tony Pipa, Natalie Giesmar, 4/14/2020

“The COVID-19 crisis is testing America’s resilience. The rapidly accelerating economic fallout makes concrete the risks for a national economy built on the success of just a few key economic centers. … This includes rural and tribal places—and will require a reimagining of the federal policies intended to support them….”

Rural America’s Health Care Crisis Seizes States’ Attention

Pew Stateline Article – Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Michael Ollove, 1/31/2020

“Dr. George Pink is a professor who studies rural health, not a doctor who tries to provide it. For the sake of his own blood pressure, he’s grateful. “Not a day doesn’t go by that I don’t thank God I’m an academic and not the CEO of a rural hospital,” Pink says …” as he discusses the challenges, “Recruiting providers, finding money, dealing with payers and lawsuits, dealing with the poor health outcomes, opioid addiction.”

Rural Hospitals are Dying and Pregnant Women are Paying the Price

by Lisa Rab (2017) for Politico Magazine

Rural Hospitals See Graham-Cassady as Latest Threat to Survival

by Dave Barkholz (2017) for

British theologian N.T. Wright on the prosperity gospel, climate change and Advent

by Sarah Pulliam Bailey (2019) for The Washington Post

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Duke University, Robert Bonnie, Emily Pechard Diamond, and Elizabeth Rowe, 2/13/2020
“Rural Americans matter—a lot—to the fate of U.S. environmental policy. This study explores: 1) the attitudes of rural Americans toward the environment and environmental policy; 2) what accounts for the apparent rural/urban divide on attitudes toward environmental policy; and 3) whether there are alternative policies, communications strategies, or, more broadly, ways to engage rural voters….”

Study: Western U.S. in first megadrought caused by people

Washington Post, Andrew Freedman, Darryl Fears, 4/17/2020

“A vast region of the western United states, extending from California, Arizona and New Mexico north to Oregon and Idaho, is in the grips of the first climate change-induced mega drought observed in the past 1,200 years, a study shows. The finding means the phenomenon I no longer a threat for millions to worry about in the future, but is already here.

“The megadrought has emerged while thirsty, expanding cities are on a collision course with the water demands of thousands of farmers and with environmental interests, posing nightmare scenarios for water-managers in fast-growing states…”

Will Off-Farm Income Weigh on Fragile Farm Economy? Part 1: Demographics

AEI Agriculture Economic Insights, David Widmar, 5/4/2020

“Off-Farm vs. On-Farm Metrics” – learn about farm household income by type and distribution of farm debt.

Democracy Grief Is Real

by (2019) for The New York Times

James Comey: The truth is finally out. The FBI fulfilled its mission.

by James Comey (2019) for The Washington Post

Understanding Rural Attitudes Toward the Environment and Conservation in America

Duke University, Nicholas Institute, Robert Bonnie, Emily Pechar Diamond, Elizabeth Rowe, 5/20

“…(1) The rural-urban divide is real but it’s not a divide about who cares more about the environment…
“(2) Rural Americans share core values and strong place identify that shapes their perspectives on environmental conservation…
“(3) Attitudes about government are a fundamental driver of the urban/rural divide on the environment….”