Category Archives: Data

Rural Regions 2: The Regional Distribution of Doctors

The second research note in the Rural Regions series is posted to 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 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 →

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 →

ERS releases 2016 Rural Development at a Glance

USDA ERS released its 2016 Rural Development at a Glance publication this month. As always, interesting points to ponder. This table with counties coded by dominant industry is interesting and shows the diversity of industry among Texas rural counties.         We like to think of Texas as a fairly rural state, but Census data shows that only 15.3% of Texans live in rural areas v. 19.3% across the entire U.S. In fact, Texas ranks as the 36th most rural state by that measure (alternatively, the… Read More →

ERS Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America

Need a quick look at how your county stacks up against the rest of the state? Or maybe you need to generate a quick graphic to accompany a community report. The Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America from USDA-ERS displays statistics on people, jobs, veterans, and county types. Data have been updated to reflect the latest population, poverty, and American Community Survey statistics.

The Value of Government Data

The following information from the Department of Commerce highlights the importance of government data in decision making. May 7, 2015 Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) released a new report today entitled, “The Value of the American Community Survey: Smart Government, Competitive Businesses, and Informed Citizens.”  The report shows how the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) is used to accurately direct over $400 billion in federal funds to the communities that need them, and to help businesses and community leaders… Read More →

What Counts: Harnessing Data for America’s Communities

You all know how much I love data. It is indispensable for making good decisions. What Counts: Harnessing Data for America’s Communities from the San Francisco Fed discusses why data is important and how to use it. You can download the book for free from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or order a print copy. Check it out!

Rural Matters: A Free Online Data Event

Community Commons is sponsoring a free online data event in November. The series features three 19-minute webinars and a dedicated Rural Matters Event Hub.  Topics include the use of data for community assessment, funding applications, and policy change in rural communities. Register for any or all events below: Assessing the Rural Community    Thursday, November 6  10:30-11:00am Central Enhancing Your Funding Proposals   Wednesday, November 12 1:00-1:30pm Central Making the Case for Policy Change   Monday, November 17 3:00-3:30pm Central All events will be recorded for later viewing.