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Rural Poverty: Research and Policy for U.S. Families

  • Ann R. TickamyerEmail author
Chapter
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Part of the National Symposium on Family Issues book series (NSFI, volume 10)

Abstract

The depth and breadth of rural poverty in the United States have been recognized but misunderstood and neglected for as long as poverty statistics have been collected. Over 50 years ago a government commission on The People Left Behind examined issues of the severity of rural poverty and issued recommendations for actions to counter it. Yet, half a century later many of the problems remain, and the policies for addressing them are still relevant but unrealized. In the current time of social and political polarization that appears to partly reflect a rural and urban divide, there has been new attention to the causes and consequences of economic distress among rural families and communities. However, the issues remain under-examined and relatively obscure for scholars, policy makers, and the public. This chapter examines the depth, extent, forms, and locations of rural poverty; its social and geographic diversity; its causes and correlates; reasons for neglect; and obstacles to designing policies and programs to address rural poverty and economic distress. The chapter concludes with suggestions for moving a rural poverty research and policy agenda forward.

Keywords

Perceptions of rural United States Rural demography Rural diversity Poverty policy Poverty programs People left behind Persistent poverty locations Urban–rural linkages 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Multistate Research Project PEN04623 (Accession#1013257): Social, economic and environmental causes and consequences of demographic change in rural America.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Penn StateUniversity ParkUSA

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