Articles on Rural America

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Patrons eat outside at a small cafe in West Reading, Pennsylvania, as the community begins to reopen. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

How small towns are responding to the global pandemic

Local leaders and business owners have had to get creative to help their residents stay healthy and keep community economies going.
In the rural South, chronic illnesses are common, the population is older and health care options have been declining as hospitals close. All put the population at higher risk from COVID-19. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Coronavirus is spreading through rural South’s high-risk population – reopening economies will make it worse

Southern governors are starting to reopen their economies at the same time COVID-19 cases are spreading through the rural South.
Families in rural areas are harder for the Census Bureau to reach. Rafa artphoto/Shutterstock.com

Why the 2020 census matters for rural Americans

People living in rural and small town America have much at stake in the 2020 census. But census participation tends to be lower in rural areas.
Of Jennifer Silva’s sample of 108 working-class people, over two-thirds didn’t even vote in the 2016 election. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Why do so many working class Americans feel politics is pointless?

A sociologist spent over a year interviewing black, white and Latino residents of a declining coal town in central Pennsylvania, plumbing the sources of their political disillusionment.
Bottled water distribution in Glenwood, Iowa, where massive spring flooding along the Missouri River disrupted drinking water treatment, April 3, 2019. AP Photo/Nati Harnik

The US drinking water supply is mostly safe, but that’s not good enough

A grade of 92 is an A at most schools, but for tap water it means that millions of Americans drink water that fails to met federal standards.
Historic flooding in the Midwest, including this farm in Nebraska, has caused widespread damage. DroneBase via AP

For a flooded Midwest, climate forecasts offer little comfort

A climatologist who studies precipitation trends explains how climate change is projected to make flooding events in the Midwest more severe and more frequent.
Rock Hills Ranch in South Dakota uses managed grazing techniques to maintain healthy, diverse plant communities in its pastures. Lars Ploughmann

Regenerative agriculture can make farmers stewards of the land again

US agriculture is dominated by large farms that rely on chemical inputs. In contrast, regenerative farming makes land and water healthier by mimicking nature instead of trying to control it.
Since the Great Recession, the employment rate has gone up — but some rural groups lag behind. Josh Sorenson

Rural people with disabilities are still struggling to recover from the recession

There's a notable disparity between the rate of employment for people with and without disabilities, especially in certain pockets of the US.

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