Rural Regions 2: The Regional Distribution of Doctors

The second research note in the Rural Regions series is posted to http://ruralcommunities.tamu.edu.This note focuses on the distribution of primary care physicians (PCP) Texas counties. Factors associated with fewer PCP per 100,000 people include greater rural land area, lack of broadband, and more workers who commute outside the county. Factors associated with increased PCP per 100,000 people are private insurance and the number of law offices per 100,000 people. Why? Read on. Rural Regions describes the regional nature of some important rural topics, including health care and food access…. Read More →

Rural Regions 1: A Look at Rural Hospital Closures

This month I’m launching a new research note series. Rural Regions describes the regional nature of some important rural topics, including health care and food access. Comments are welcome as these research notes relate to on ongoing research. The series will appear at http://ruralcommunities.tamu.edu. The purpose is not to advocate for the maintenance or closure of facilities, but to get a picture of factors affecting the presence of services in rural areas. The first note, A Look at Rural Hospital Closures, is available today and provides some context… Read More →

Resources to BTHO Hate and Build Community Dialogue

The words at the bottom of our Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service publications read: “Texas A&M AgriLife Extension provides equal opportunities in its programs and employment to all persons, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” Yesterday, as news of a (since cancelled) white supremacist rally on the Texas A&M University campus developed, our Extension Director took a few moments to remind us of that statement and our commitment to it, and I’m so glad he… Read More →

Transportation for the Rural Elderly

Our research team recently completed the technical report for our Economics of Transportation for the Rural Elderly project. The team’s objective is to provide research recommendations that may be used to enhance, if appropriate or applicable, the provision of rural transportation options that improve quality of life for the rural elderly and other socially and transportation disadvantaged populations. The technical report, as well as a Scientia Magazine article and a related Bryan Eagle article are available at http://communities.tamu.edu/ruraltransportation/. The technical report is available at http://tti.tamu.edu/documents/TTI-2017-1.pdf.

Webinar: Committee of Negativity: Getting Past the Old Guard

Just saw a notice that Becky McCray and Deb Brown of SaveYour.Town are hosting their next webinar: Committee of Negativity: Getting Past the Old Guard. I hear about negativity concerns fairly often and think you will find these presenters helpful. Info is below. “All small towns have one, a committee of negativity that can’t find anything right with what you do. We’ve all been there and been frustrated with their reactions. Join Deb and I as we share stories and methods for diffusing the committee of negativity,” said… Read More →

Results of Texas Rural Leaders and Economies Survey Released

The report documenting results of the Texas Rural Leaders and Economies Survey is now posted on the Rural Communities website. A few economic highlights are below. For more information view the complete report online. Future posts will discuss local institutions, keeping young people, and rural leadership. Leaders tended to view overall economic conditions and retail conditions similarly. Most respondents rated their economies and retail sectors as stable. Perceptions of decline across both city and county respondents were more evident in rural counties not adjacent to urban areas.  … Read More →

Choices Issue on Local Foods

The Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (the national association for U.S. ag economics) has a policy-relevant journal directed toward non-economists. The current issue relates to local foods and includes a number of policy-relevant articles of interest to many of you. Check it out at Choices.

The Shape of U.S. States According to Commuting Patterns

My colleague John Robinson sent me a link to What if the United States Were Shaped According to Economics? by Ross Pomeroy. It’s always fun to see our usual state borders distorted or color-coated, whether by GDP or status as a tourism destination. Alasdair Rae and Garrett Nelson used American Community Survey commuting flows to identify functional economic regions. Pretty cool. Texas is broken into six states. It is important to think about the fact that this map is based on commuting patterns and not, say, spending patterns…. Read More →

Winning Football and Community Success

‘Tis the season. Or ’twas the season anyway. Texas high school football playoffs. I like small town football. Both my brothers played six-man football in Kansas. My son goes to a small school where the elementary kids get to run out on the field with the football players and stay there through the Star Spangled Banner. You see everyone at a small town football game. That’s what I really love–the sense of community around rural schools and their activities from junior high volleyball games to Kindergartners’ Veterans Day… Read More →

Rural Texas Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage

Yesterday I retweeted a Census Bureau infographic with national statistics on rural and urban poverty, income, health insurance coverage and housing. There are several positive messages in that data, including lower poverty rates for rural, lower rates of people living alone, and higher rates of children living in a married family households (being a single householder or the child of a single householder can be difficult). There were also some less pleasant statistics, including a larger share of rural residents without health insurance, a smaller share with a… Read More →