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Poverty: Resources Roundup

ERS researches the economic, social, and demographic characteristics affecting the income and poverty levels of rural residents. The research focuses largely on rural communities, but it also covers specific segments of the U.S. population—children, the elderly, single parents, and racial and ethnic minorities—who are most at risk of economic hardship and who often receive assistance from Federal programs. ERS research includes comparisons of metro and nonmetro poverty levels, as well as the implications of population change and migration.

Online Briefing Rooms

Small-town sceneAnalysis of key topics and links to ERS reports and data products:

Rural income, poverty, and welfare. A detailed picture of the economic, social, and demographic factors in rural income, poverty, and welfare-program participation.

Vulnerable populations. Research covering household food security and food program participation among Americans most at risk of material hardshlp.

Race and ethnicity in rural America. Overview of several critical demographic and economic trends and characteristics of nonmetropolitan minority residents.

Rural population and migration. Factors generating demographic change in different regions and types of rural areas, particularly as if affects groups at greatest economic risk.

Rural labor and education. Information and data on wages, education levels, and employment/unemployment, a comparison with metro areas, and the changing nature of job opportunities in rural areas.

Food security in the United States. Impacts of food security on the well-being of children, adults, families, and communities, and its relationship to public policy and the economy.

Amber Waves Magazine

Cover of Amber Waves magazine Anatomy of Nonmetro High-Poverty Areas: Common in Plight, Distinctive in Nature
Persistent Poverty Is More Pervasive in Non-Metro Counties
Measuring U.S. Household Food Security
Older Women and Poverty in Rural America
Farm Poverty Lowest in U.S. History
New Insights on Metro and Nonmetro Areas
Putting Food on the Table: Household Food Security in the United States
Dimensions of Child Poverty in Rural Areas
Nonmetro Poverty: Assessing the Effect of the 1990s

Recent Publications

Front of rural poverty report Rural America At A Glance, 2006 Edition
Rural Poverty at a Glance
Recreation, Tourism, and Rural Well-Being
New Patterns of Hispanic Settlement in Rural America
Comparisons of Metropolitan-Nonmetropolitan Poverty During the 1990's

U.S. map of population changeData Products

County typology codes. Classification of all U.S. counties by categories, including persistent poverty, low employment, dependence on manufacturing, and population loss.

County-level poverty rates. State and county-level data for general population and for children.

County-level unemployment and median household income. State and county-level data, 1997 to 2004.

Current rural and urban unemployment statistics. Rural and urban employment and unemployment estimates from the Current Population Survey.

State fact sheets. Data on rural/urban population, employment, income, poverty, and education levels, as well as farm characteristics and financial indicators for each State and links to other resources.


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For more information, contact: Mary Reardon

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Updated date: August 29, 2006