Can Immigration Help Boost Rural Economies in the Fifth District and Beyond
We examine the role of immigration in rural areas. While immigrants tend to concentrate in urban areas, rural areas also significantly benefit from immigration. Agricultural firms, for example, need to hire many immigrants to help with harvesting crops. Past restrictions to immigration in rural areas haven't proven to be very effective in boosting native worker employment in these areas. First, firms respond to such restrictions by investing in new technologies at the expense of labor. Also, native workers seem unwilling to take many jobs in rural areas, which makes immigrants particularly ...
Upfront: New from the Richmond Fed's Regional Matters Blog
New from the Richmond Fed’s Regional Matters blog
Aging and declining populations in northern New England: is there a role for immigration?
In hundreds of communities across northern New England, the population is aging rapidly and becoming smaller. The entire country is aging, but northern New England stands out: Among the populations of all US states, those of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have the top-three highest median ages, respectively. The situation is even more extreme in northern New England?s rural counties, where the populations of the smallest towns generally are substantially older than those of the rest of the region. These communities also have seen the slowest, or even negative, population growth over the ...
Declining access to health care in northern New England
Access to health care is a major concern across the northern New England states?Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont?where rising operating costs and population loss threaten the stability of hospitals and other medical facilities that serve their surrounding rural communities. New analysis of financial data shows that many rural hospitals are operating at losses that are predictive of financial distress or even closure. Consequently, the communities served by these hospitals may be at risk of losing the benefits they provide to public health and the local economy. Addressing the financial ...
Increasing Rural Capacity: Ways Intermediaries Can Contribute
Intermediary organizations provide a wide range of services that can help rural and small-town communities (no matter how we define rural or small town) to improve regional outcomes. Intermediaries are place-based, which means that they focus on a specific community or geography. They can operate at a local, regional, state, or multistate level and act as conveners of other organizations. In addition, they can serve as a link between local organizations and state or national resources.
President's Message: Making It Work
This issue of Econ Focus is a special issue on the economic challenges of rural areas and small towns. I spend a lot of time in these communities, meeting with local leaders — in government, business, and nonprofits — to learn from them about the issues they face and, often, the solutions that have worked for them. (During the pandemic, our meetings have been socially distanced.) What I have seen consistently is that success does not come from a single program or initiative. The places that are making it work have several key elements in common: a story, regional cooperation, and ...
Shifting Populations: Results From 2021 Census Estimates
When the COVID-19 pandemic first began in the United States in 2020, many workers started working full time from home. The expansion of remote work allowed a growing number of people to see a future in which where they worked and where they lived did not have to be one in the same. As workers became less tethered to their offices in big cities, stories emerged, including from our own outreach, of workers moving away from urban cores in favor of more rural areas. But do the stories align with what the data tell us?
The Rural Nursing Shortage
During the pandemic, policymakers and reporters have focused on the number of available hospital beds as a measure of the health system's capacity to deal with COVID-19 infections. But those beds don't matter very much without medical staff — doctors, nurses, and other trained specialists — to treat the patients in them. And after nearly two years on the front lines of the pandemic, health care workers are stretched thin.
Housing the Workforce in the Rural Fifth District
Although real estate is often less costly in rural areas than in urban areas, many low- and middle-income households in rural areas struggle with housing expense. There are multiple reasons why rural households end up financially constrained by housing costs. First, incomes tend to be lower in rural areas. Second, there are limited available units — multifamily or single family — in rural areas for reasons that reflect the unique challenges of the rural housing landscape.
Intersecting Costs: Housing and Transportation in the Rural Fifth District
Our recent issue of Econ Focus covered a number of challenges facing small towns and rural areas, including the need for affordable, quality housing for low- and middle-income households. Despite typically lower housing costs in rural areas compared to urban areas, nearly four out of 10 low- and middle-income households in the rural Fifth District are housing cost burdened, meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.Yet, access to housing is only part of the bigger story of households’ access to jobs, services, and amenities. Transportation also looms large. Housing ...