W2001: Population Dynamics and Change: Aging, Ethnicity and Land Use Change in Rural Communities
- October 01, 2007 to September 30, 2012
- Administrative Advisor(s):
- NIFA Reps:
Statement of Issue(s) and Justification:Through a comprehensive, collaborative study of rural population change, members of the W-1001 multi-state project (this proposal's predecessor) identified and reported on a wide range of interrelated, demographic trends affecting rural America (Kandel and Brown, 2006). Among the many topics explored, three critical areas emerged as particularly salient for understanding the changing character of rural people and places, and also as critical factors affecting rural policy. Accordingly, we the multi-state research committee W1001, have targeted the following three issues for in-depth analysis during the next five years. First, the aging of the U.S. population affects rural areas in unique and geographically diverse ways, with increasing rates of retirement migration affecting some areas and aging-in-place occurring elsewhere. Second, dramatic changes in the racial and ethnic composition of rural places has created challenges and opportunities for rural communities, and prompts demands for new research on economic vulnerability, on the migrant absorption process, and on the local capacity of rural areas to improve individual and household well-being. Third, rapid population growth along the urban-rural periphery and in high amenity areas calls for a new look at land use patterns and the social conflicts that arise in communities experiencing increasing demographic size and diversity. We propose collaborative research targeting these three topics that will take advantage of our combined areas of expertise, maximize the benefits of the multi-state framework, and address the concerns most often expressed by rural development policymakers and leaders in communities affected by changing population size and composition.
Need as indicated by stakeholders
Our choice of research topics comes in large part from information gathered from stakeholders during professional meetings, workshops, briefings, and informal visits to rural areas and regions undergoing population change. The concerns expressed in these settings mirror CSREES policy priorities to "support increased economic opportunities and improved quality of life in rural America." Specifically, our research will fulfill CSREES strategic goals by helping identify social and economic issues facing rural communities as rural communities adjust to broad forces affecting their futures, such as social welfare policy, immigration reform, an aging population, and rapid population growth in communities near major cities.
First, calls for research on aging are increasing as the baby boom generation approaches retirement. A recent survey of nearly 1,800 towns, counties, and municipalities found that less than half have begun preparing for the inevitable social and economic shifts brought on by aging (National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, 2006). The Western Governors' Association cites rural health improvements as a policy priority, largely due to an increasing elderly population (Western Governors Association, 2004). Stakeholders from Great Plains and Corn Belt communities need help providing health care and other services to an increasingly isolated, aging-in-place population. At the same time, stakeholders in the Rocky Mountain West and other high-amenity destinations need information and analysis to weigh the costs and benefits of rapid, elderly in-migration.
Second, the migration of Latinos and other ethnic groups has affected the character and geography of rural economic vulnerability over the past two decades. Poverty in rural America continues to be geographically clustered in ways that reflect historical patterns of racial and ethnic settlement, but questions regarding individual and household well-being, social and economic integration, and civic engagement are coming from new areas as well. New residents often revitalize small towns economically and demographically, yet their presence signals changes in local economic structure that can be detrimental to some groups (Vias and Nelson 2006). Moreover, the economic, civic, and social incorporation of foreign-born newcomers is critical for rural communities whose fortunes will revolve to no small measure around the labor market outcomes of U.S. born second generation immigrants. Our proposed research addresses the needs expressed by stakeholders to better understand the challenges and opportunities that come with increasing demographic diversity.
Third, the conversion of farmland to urban uses, along with broader environmental consequences resulting from population growth and redistribution, raise public concerns on many fronts. Stakeholders need analysis of land-use impacts to help balance competing interests, allowing efficient use of rural land while protecting rural amenities. Rural amenities threatened by rapid housing and infrastructure development include local food supplies, air and water quality, natural resource-related jobs, and quality of life. Insights into the impacts of population change help public agencies and civic groups efficiently support local management efforts and develop strategies tailored to their individual communities.
Importance of the work, and what the consequences are if it is not done
Findings, insights, and implications of this research will help in planning, policy-making and program assessments that support sustainable rural communities and promote residents' quality of life. Local, regional, state and federal government and non-governmental organization personnel depend not only on current descriptive information on population trends but also on interpretations of such trends. Different demographic trends can sometimes result in contradictory policy recommendations for stakeholders. For instance, immigration creates demands for schools and other family-oriented social services, while retirement migration increases the demand for a much different combination of public and private services, including health care, shopping, recreation and other leisure activities. There is a need to better understand the interplay between these two trends: to what extent are immigrants to rural places attracted by the jobs produced by aging boomers and others moving to retirement destinations? Such information contributes to better understanding and anticipation of present and future public needs as they are influenced by changes in population size, geographic location, and socioeconomic composition.
Beyond general guidance for strategic decisions and program design and administration, the need for demographic analysis extends to informing decisions and judgments of direct service providers. These include educational administrators, cooperative extension personnel, law enforcement personnel, medical and welfare workers, journalists, clergy, and others influential in community affairs. Overlapping with such efforts are members of business and public utility sectors that make key contributions to civic well-being and adapt to demographic shifts using market data, needs assessments, and projections to plan and manage their organizations and enterprises. Demographic analysis is also critical for local development planning, and in particular for decisions related to land use, infrastructure, and construction permitting. As a result, we will continue our interaction with established stakeholder groups. Our research agenda will be guided in large part by their input. Summary materials outlined below will be developed and presentations made to help public and private policymakers and decision makers interpret our finding and assess implications for action in their own contexts.
Failure to address these issues as a team working together under the committee's auspices would decrease the contribution we hope to make to a basic understanding of the causes and consequences of recent rural population growth, geographic redistribution, and compositional change. It could hinder public policy efforts at the Federal and State level, due to the decrease in systematic knowledge of just how rural people and communities-and the challenges they face-are evolving as a result of demographic change. Without knowledge about large regional differences, policy formation may be critically misdirected. Our emphasis on the geographic variation of demographic impacts and our efforts to disseminate our findings should improve the response capabilities of local government officials, regional economic development officers, extension personnel, and other stakeholders. Our case studies will augment the proposed national level analyses and provide important information on local variation in responses to these population changes. Without our study, much of the information about these differences would not be known.
Technical feasibility of the research
The group does not envision any major technical issues that would hinder the investigation of the research objectives outlined below. Recent W-1001 accomplishments, including a book publication, policy briefs, a successful policy-oriented conference in Washington DC, numerous journal articles and presentations, and successful grant proposals, demonstrate our ability to collaborate effectively. Focusing our efforts on three policy-relevant research areas maximizes the benefits of working together in the multi-state framework. The disciplinary range of participants has expanded and linkages with public and private stakeholders have also grown and diversified geographically.
The group maintains substantial expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Most members have extensive experience compiling and analyzing large databases, bringing together demographic and economic data from several sources and geographic scales of inquiry. Similarly, we have a unique set of qualitative skills in interviewing rural community leaders and residents. We are poised to incorporate new data from the American Community Survey, available with full U.S. coverage for the first time in 2007, into the proposed research agenda.
Advantages of the multi-state approach
The multi-state framework provides a unique venue for interdisciplinary research that is both national in scope and committed to understanding the regional and local context of demographic change. A project combining national and regional frames of reference is essential for analyzing rural population issues from a policy perspective because demographic change occurs within the framework of the nation's entire settlement system. Specific areas cannot be studied outside of their larger contexts. Regions are interrelated as are rural, suburban and urban areas. We continue a long-term emphasis on demographic change in the rural West, in part because of the location of several project members whose interests are most central to Western issues. The West is the fastest growing region of the U.S. and is often in the forefront of debates over land-use change, economic dislocation, and conflicts among different demographic groups. However, our committee's expanded membership during the last five years has widened the geographic scope of our research considerably. Our national-level research activities are now informed by in-depth knowledge of regions as diverse as the northern Great Plains, the upper Great Lakes, the Mississippi Delta, and New England.
The multi-state approach allows each researcher to take advantage of the unique and diverse skills of all committee members and their affiliated institutes, including departments and population centers at University of Connecticut, Cornell University, University of Idaho, Kansas State University, University of Missouri, University of Montana, North Dakota State University, Texas A&M University, Utah State University, Washington State University, University of Wisconsin, and Middlebury College and Loyola University-Chicago. Geographers with USDA's Economic Research Service and elsewhere provide the research committee with excellent geographic information systems capabilities. Committee members from Cornell University, North Dakota State University, Utah State University, Washington State University and CSREES, among others, have formal Extension responsibilities, and their expertise provides the group with a solid understanding of stakeholder issues and the planning requirements of state, county and regional agencies. Finally, the group enjoys excellent relations with professionals at the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal data centers.
The likely impacts from completion of the work
The project's goal continues to be the production of policy-relevant research that informs users about current and projected rural demographic trends and issues, and their implications for public policy. We aim for broad readership among rural stakeholders and policy makers. Without the inclusion of this outreach effort, our research loses its power. Members of W-1001 received requests for information from, or made briefings to, the U.S. House Agriculture Committee; the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee, the offices of Senators Obama, Dorgan and Durbin, and Congressmen Hastert, Davis, Kirk, and Schakowsky; the Kansas, New York, North Dakota and Illinois Legislatures; USDA's Rural Development mission area; Kids Count; the Brookings Institution; the National Committee on Rural Health; the Utah Public Health Association and the Utah Population Projections Committee; the Western Governors' Association; the New York Legislative Commission on Rural Resources; New York State Office for the Aging; the State Society on Aging of New York; the Association for Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research; and the American Association of Retired Persons.
The proposed research does not evaluate the operation of particular public policies or practices. Rather, it provides information about the social and economic context within which public policy operates in our changing rural society. For example, information on population aging focuses attention to changing service needs as older persons age in place. Analyses of changing income sources invariably draws attention to growing and declining industries. As a decreasing share of rural residents continue to be employed in the agricultural sector, demographic research implies that rural economic development must consider a broader range of non-agricultural industries. Demographic expansion into rural territory raises concerns about farm land protection and growth management. This project's research provides contextual information that will help policymakers decide where public intervention is most needed, and the alternative forms such actions might take.
Related, Current, and Previous Work:This proposal and its three objectives stem directly from the integrated research on rural population produced by the W1001 committee. Book chapters in Kandel and Brown's (2006) edited volume, journal articles, presentations, and policy briefs (listed on the W1001 web site) are examples of the type of policy-relevant, contextual analysis described by Brown (2002) that helps form a solid basis for social policy. Several of the book chapters provide a baseline of information and analysis that establish the need for further research guided by the objectives proposed here (Cromartie, 2006; Glasgow and Brown, 2006; Jackson-Smith, et al., 2006; Jensen, et al., 2006; Kandel and Parrado, 2006a; Kirschner, et al., 2006; Lee and Singelmann, 2006). The following sections summarize these and related findings and identify issues that require further research and dissemination to public and private decision makers.
Researchers recognize that two distinct demographic processes, in-migration and aging in place, affect the growth and distribution of the rural older population in very different ways (Cromartie, 2007; Fuguitt, et al., 2002). For example, in the Great Plains, aging-in-place combined with decades of persistent out-migration of young adults has created a labor shortage in rural areas that will have significant economic development implications for small rural communities. This situation will be intensified as the baby boom population rapidly drops out of the labor force in coming years (Johnson and Rathge, 2006).
While it is clear that aging-in-place populations are more disadvantaged than recent in-migrants, most recent research has focused on the causes and consequences of retirement migration (Glasgow and Brown, 2006; Nelson, 2005; Nelson and Sewall, 2003). The oldest baby boomers turned 60 in 2006 and their retirement related migration will significantly affect rural communities in the coming years (Nelson and Cromartie, Forthcoming). Migration impacts are uneven across regions, however, with the rural portions of the South and West likely to experience the biggest relative surge of older in-migrants (Kirschner, et al., 2006). Still, older in-migration occurs to some extent in other regions of the country, including New England, the Mid-Atlantic states, and the Upper Mid-West (Glasgow and Brown 2006), and the dynamics of older migration within less likely rural areas also needs to be understood. Further investigation is particularly needed to compare and contrast such findings with research on the regional and local consequences of aging-in-place.
Research on elderly migration to rural areas suggests that in-migrants contribute economically as consumers, community fundraisers and as workers (Glasgow and Brown, Forthcoming). Older in-migrants become involved in their new communities at rates similar to those of longer term residents, but the nature of that involvement and the local politics that develop are not well understood. For example, Jones et al. (2003) identify a process called "Green Migration" that is affecting rural communities in which in-migrants gain political power and push certain environmental agendas. Such findings are congruent with Glasgow's (1995) earlier work showing that elderly in-migrants are more likely than longer-term residents to consume recreation-related services. Processes of age-related migration can reshape the social and political landscape in destination communities in ways that are very different from processes connected to aging-in-place. However, aging- in-place is also likely to affect the civic and political landscapes in areas not significantly affected by migration. Scant work exists on the political transformations that emerge in communities characterized by aging-in-place. And, of course, older in-migrants age in place once they arrive in rural retirement destinations.
The economic effects of elderly migration on rural communities are also likely to create class differences both within and between rural communities. While many communities have become targets for wealthy older in-migrants (Smith and Krannich, 2000; Ghose, 2004; Nelson, 2005), these communities often suffer from inflated housing prices leading to displacement of younger longer-term residents (Nelson, 2001), and because of increasing property taxes associated with rising housing values, longer-term older residents may be displaced from local housing as well (Glasgow and Brown, Forthcoming). Little research has specifically examined these dimensions of out-migration and displacement, but, given the potential of new datasets (especially the American Community Survey's annual micro-level data), it will be easier to examine such outcomes of older population in-movement.
Finally, in contrast to the highly selected in-migration to retirement destinations, other rural areas are likely to see the in-migration of older persons with limited economic resources. In-migration of this nature is an economic strategy to manage day-to-day expenses for those on fixed incomes. The economic and social effects of lower income elderly migration streams into specific rural communities are likely to be considerably different from the impacts of more wealthy in-migrants. These migration dynamics create polarizing effects both within and between rural communities, in part because race and ethnicity are emerging as factors shaping elderly migration into rural areas (Longino and Smith, 1991; Liaw et al., 2002; Biafora and Longino, 1990; Lichter and Johnson, 2006). As outlined below, several questions remain about the relationship between elderly migration and increasing demographic diversity in rural areas.
Ethnicity, demographic diversity and economic vulnerability
Poverty is not evenly distributed in the United States, and in rural areas it tends to be concentrated in counties with substantial Black, Hispanic, or Native American populations (Beale, 2004; Beale and Gibbs, 2006). Limited access to educational opportunities and inherited wealth, historic and contemporary racial discrimination in housing and labor markets, and less connection to places and networks that generate economic activity are, among others, major factors that account for higher poverty rates and the concentration of rural poverty among minority groups (Jensen, et al. 2006).
Migration is the key demographic process linking increasing racial and ethnic diversity and changes in economic vulnerability. Migration patterns among the poor and non-poor have historically reinforced the concentration of rural poverty (Nord, et al. 1995; Nord 1998). More recently, increased immigration and changes in domestic migration are transforming what were predominantly white rural communities throughout the country (Fussell, 2004; Kandel and Cromartie, 2004; Lichter and Johnson, 2006). Indeed, Hispanics currently account for almost half of U.S. population growth due to both high rates of immigration but also due to relatively high birth rates. Asian immigrants are not moving to nonmetro areas in as large numbers as Hispanics, but their proportion of the U.S. population is anticipated to double over the next 15 years (Martin and Midgley 2006). Thus, even rural communities in the Black Belt, as well as throughout rural America, have been affected as Hispanic and Asian migrants move to these areas in larger numbers.
As historical associations of race and place are beginning to blur, newly emerging patterns of ethnic residence and their impacts on rural communities need to be documented. For example, whether immigration flows are to traditional or new migration destinations, research suggests that high poverty rates among minority subpopulations will characterize these places (Beale 1993; Jensen, et al. 2006; Kandel and Parrado 2005). The importance of economic incorporation of the foreign-born for rural poverty extends beyond immigrant workers to their children as well. Although three quarters of Latino children of immigrants are citizens because they were born in the U.S., they face many of the same challenges to economic well-being and social integration as their parents (Portes and Rumbaut 2001; Capps et al. 2004). Additionally, it remains unclear the extent to which the rapid and dramatic growth of the foreign-born population during the last two decades contributed to rural income inequality (Kandel and Parrado 2006b), an outcome that may be due to industrial restructuring in specific industrial sectors that rely heavily upon foreign-born workers.
Finally, integrating new flows of immigrants may create a host of political problems. While research on the elderly has suggested that older migrants to new places become actively involved in their new communities, other work has shown that new immigrants and ethnic migrants to communities can become isolated (Berry and Kirschner 2002; Glasgow and Brown forthcoming). As a result there could well be competing political demands for certain types of services from an older-voting population, and the younger, non-voting and increasingly ethnic newer populations needs for services may not be met.
Population and land-use change
Much of rural America, especially along the urban periphery and in high-amenity regions, is experiencing very rapid in-migration and population growth (Tigges and Fuguitt, 2003; Jackson-Smith, et al., 2006; Cromartie, 2006). These trends create pressures that often lead to unplanned and environmentally destructive land use change (Booth, 2002; Jackson-Smith, 2003). Water resources (both their quantity and quality) are often a development issue, especially when population growth occurs as urban sprawl, limiting the availability of water for agriculture, and thus perpetuating rural transformation out of agriculture (White, 1994). Other environmental conflicts around national parks and wilderness areas, and the growth of gateway communities, continue unabated (Howe et al, 1997). Such conflicts are created and perpetuated by population growth at the interface between wilderness areas and rural residential development, which in many areas increases the associated fire risk (Cortner et al, 1990). Although these issues can be found in any rural area of the US, they are especially pressing in the West as the region struggles and searches for policies to deal with growth. The addition of a more diverse population can make issues surrounding land use change even more contentious as the traditional centers of power in communities are challenged by newcomers (Smith and Krannich, 2000). As a result, the different values and preferences across socioeconomic and demographic groups regarding the environment become the central focus of politics and tension in these growing communities. Empirical research on land use competition associated with changing population size and composition is needed to inform public and private decisions about the wise use of land and other natural resources.
Land use conversion and population change are also related to the presence and/or decline of social capital available in communities and to the sustainability of farming in the vicinity of growing urban places (Flora, 1998; Sharp and Smith, 2003). This is related to the values, decision-making process and perceived uncertainty regarding land use. Low social capital via the uncertainty about development is more likely to result in changing land ownership. Abrupt population changes, and fragmented development in farming regions (especially those close to the urban/rural fringe), can contribute to declines in social capital. This is embedded into the broader context of global and societal factors, including agricultural consolidation, population aging, the changing hyper-extraction economies and international migration flows. From the Northeast, where farms are is quickly disappearing, to the arid Southwest, where local economies and communities depend on groundwater extraction, local officials need a better understanding of the processes involved when the decision is made to sell and develop farmlands so they can develop conservation measures that preserve the character of the rural areas remaining (http://www.nercrd.psu.edu/Ten_Things/index.html).
Relation to other extension projects A CRIS search (see attachment) uncovered a number of research projects focusing on the causes and impacts of rural aging, race and ethnic change, and land-use change. However, analysis of objectives and research results showed large enough differences in subject, geography, disciplinary approach, or methodology to minimize any chance of duplication. We are the only group approaching these questions from a multi-state, multi-disciplinary perspective. We are the only group with an over-arching demographic perspective, though several projects are concerned with demographic impacts on rural development. We are the only project combining a national perspective with a strong emphasis on regional and local variation, with potential benefits to a broad constituency.
Most of our specific research objectives are not being addressed at all, or are being studied in one state or region. No other project is looking at the combined influence of aging-in-place and migration on the growth and redistribution of rural elderly. No one is addressing the impact of race and ethnic change on economic vulnerability. Several projects looking at land-use change include a demographic component but focus on a particular land-use type, such as coastal areas, forests, and rangeland.
One possible exception to this lack of duplication is the project headed by Kraybill and Irwin entitled RURAL COMMUNITIES, RURAL LABOR MARKETS AND PUBLIC POLICY. Their progress report notes: "Research by Irwin on land use patterns and amenity-driven regional migration examined data and scale dependencies and investigated the extent to which observed patterns are consistent with theories of suburbanization and rural land development." Our stated objectives are more focused on the linkages between demographic change and land-use conflicts, but we will need to incorporate their findings as they become available and refine our agenda accordingly.
- Examine the aging of the rural population within the context of overall U.S. population aging, describe how in-migration, aging-in-place, and other demographic forces shape the spatial distribution and composition of rural older populations, and analyze the impacts of retirement migration and aging-in-place on individual and community well-being. Examine the interplay between retirement migration and increases in ethnic diversity in retirement destination communities.
- Describe the changing racial and ethnic composition of rural areas and its impact on economic vulnerability and inequality, and analyze conditions affecting social and economic integration of diverse populations, including the unique challenges facing immigrant families to rural destinations.
- Investigate how changes in the size and composition of the rural population affect changes in land use and analyze the linkages between demographic change and emerging land use conflicts in different regional and local contexts.
Methods - General:
All three objectives share methodological approaches and strategies for joint planning and data sharing that we developed in the predecessor committee. The research will still depend in large measure on aggregate-level, comparative, and cross-sectional analyses of population change and redistribution using data from various federal sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, USDA's Economic Research Service, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Committee members will collaborate to build databases that all members can access. Much of the work will continue to be at the county level of analysis, but more of the research will incorporate other levels of geography such as places, census tracts, or block groups.
Each collaborator will pursue research in his/her area of expertise (e.g., migration, aging, poverty, community change, economic restructuring, land use) using similar sets of measures, timelines, geographic breakdowns, and statistical tools whenever possible. For example, regional breakdowns will use the four U.S. Census regions or an alternative scheme that also separates the Great Plains from the Corn Belt or the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest from the Western Region. As before, survey research, case studies, focus groups, and other types of analyses will elaborate the information obtained from the aggregate level demographic analysis (Glasgow and Brown, 2006; Lee and Singelmann, 2006). These more intensive approaches strengthen and deepen explanations and provide additional, localized meaning to the aggregate, more quantitative information.
With the introduction of micropolitan areas and urban clusters, the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Census Bureau enlarged the range of rural definitions in ways that improve our understanding of economic trends and better target clients for rural-based programs. In meeting one of their stated objectives, W1001 members evaluated the validity of these new conceptions of rurality and analyzed how they relate to each other and to previous official definitions (Brown and Cromartie, 2004, Brown, et al. 2004; Mulligan and Vias, 2006). This work is resulting in more consistent and theoretically sound definitions of rural and urban that will help integrate the committee's demographic research.
Methods - Specific:
Objectives 1 and 2: To describe the changing distribution and composition of the rural population, we will use a set of uniform demographic accounting methods, including rates and ratios, standardization, and group and subgroup decomposition (e.g. race and age categories, uniform measures of economic vulnerability). Fourteen collaborators from thirteen states, two from the Economic Research Service (ERS) and one from the Population Reference Bureau (PRB)will work together to address objective 1 (CT, FL, IL, MO, MT, NY, KS, ND, TN, UT, VT, WA, WI) and objective 2 (CT, FL, ID, IL, MO, MT, NY, KS, ND, TN, UT, VT, WA, WI)
Exploratory data analysis and multivariate statistical techniques will be employed to investigate the determinants and consequences of aging and increasing racial and ethnic diversity. Aggregate level analysis is frequently affected by spatial autocorrelation; we will use spatial regression analysis, where appropriate, to ensure that parameter estimation is carried out with models specified to account for autocorrelation in the data. As before, we will use geographic information technology (GIS) to visualize and explore the geographic variability of demographic and socioeconomic phenomena.
Both the proposed research on aging and the research on migration and changing ethnic diversity will include longitudinal analysis, in particular taking advantage of the surveys conducted as part of the National Institute on Aging's Health and Retirement Survey and the Department of Labor's National Longitudinal Studies. In-depth case studies comparing areas attracting older in-migrants as well as areas dominated by aging- in-place are also being planned. Similarly, case studies comparing areas attracting new ethnic groups to rural places as well as those where ethnic groups are stable or declining are also planned. Comparisons of stable, non-migrant attracting areas, to those that are experiencing in and out-migration, whether of aging populations or of ethnic populations will provide further insight into the changing nature of rural communities.
Objective 3: To analyze land use change, we will primarily use data from the National Resources Inventory. New county-level data, to be released in 2008, will be compared to data from 2003 and 1997. Descriptive and multivariate statistical methods will permit the classification of counties based on general types of demographic change and land use change (Reynolds, 2001; Vesterby and Krupa, 2001; Vias and Carruthers, 2005). Regression models will identify what factors most influence the development of land at the periphery of cities, and in remote locations (Carruthers and Vias, 2005).
An alternative approach developed by Theobold (2002) to examine land use change at a finer spatial scale may be adapted for case studies in locations where supplementary data from local and state sources are available. This type of sub-county analysis will be enhanced through the use of GIS (Theobold and Hobbs, 1998).
Fifteen collaborators from twelve states and one from the Economic Research Service (ERS)will work together to address objective 3 (CT, IL, MO, MT, NY, KS, ND, OR, PA, TN, UT, WA).
Measurement of Progress and Results:
- The members of this committee have strong records of scholarly publication, and we anticipate producing a large number of articles in refereed journals and book chapters covering specific substantive issues related to the three objectives. The first of these likely will be a research monograph on rural aging, Retirement Migration and the Road to Rural America, written by Glasgow and Brown to be published by Springer Press.
- We will continue producing policy-related issue briefs disseminated through a variety of outlets to make research results quickly and easily accessible to policy makers and stakeholders. In addition, we plan to use the Web to improve access to publications, issue briefs, and rural datasets.
- We expect to organize one or more policy-oriented conferences, most likely based in Washington, DC. Our successful experience with the Population Change and Rural Society Conference in 2004 shows that such conferences can be readily organized and effectively publicized. A national conference on rural aging in cooperation with the AARP is currently being explored. USDA's Economic Research Service recently revived its land use research agenda by forming an in-house, exploratory Land Economics Group, and we will be discussing the possibility of a co-sponsored workshop on land use and rural population change. Summary materials and workshop procedures will be produced to share with a wider audience.
Outcomes or projected Impacts:
- Demographic analysis is essential for effective public policies and development practices in rural communities. As stated above, the research proposed here does not evaluate specific policies or practices, but it does provide information that is crucial to good decision-making. The demographic analyses provided by such research provides contextual information that will help public policy makers and local residents design or modify programs to address important social issues and problems and decide where public intervention is most needed. Moreover the national and regional level studies produced by this committee enable state and local decision makers to consider their respective situations in comparative context.
- Results from W1001 research were disseminated widely among members of Congress, USDA rural development program managers, state legislatures, major non-governmental organizations, and regional, state, and local stakeholder groups. We expect to continue this level of outreach and to expand our contacts to include groups with particular interests in rural aging, diversity, and land use.
(2008): To begin addressing the project's objectives, we will continue to synthesize information gained from stakeholders during W1001's activities. The first year's project meeting will include translating stakeholder questions and information needs into research strategies. The research agenda on population and land-use change will be elaborated through discussions with the ERS Land Economics Group and a possible workshop. Further, a co-authored book on rural retirement migration will be published by Springer in 2008. Both co-authors are committee members. Results of conversations with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) regarding the possibility of sponsoring a workshop and monograph on rural aging will be discussed.
(2009): Having established our research agenda, we will proceed with data collection and exploratory analyses will proceed in an integrated fashion. In addition to the census data used previously, we will be incorporate data from the American Community Survey, the 2007 Census of Agriculture, the Natural Resources Inventory, and other data sources on land-use change.
(2010): Research covering all three objectives will be carried out. This will serve as a foundation for most of our peer-reviewed articles, issue briefs, and other publications. If negotiations are successful, the workshop on rural aging, co-sponsored with AARP, will be held this year.
(2011): Production of articles, monographs, and policy briefs, as well as the posting of the briefs to web-sites will continue through this year, as will a number of presentations to stakeholder groups.
(2012): A final round of workshops and presentations conducted to facilitate data use by practitioners will occur at the end of the grant period. The final year will also include the wrap up of monographs, policy series, peer-reviewed articles, and other outputs by the committee.
Projected Participation:Include a completed Appendix E form
Outreach Plan:Books, articles, publications, and coordinated presentations at academic conferences (e.g. Rural Sociological Society, Association of American Geographers, Population Association of America, etc.) will be used to disseminate research findings to scholars. As outlined above, we will disseminate our findings widely to state, regional and local government personnel and private sector decision-makers, non-governmental rural development professionals, and cooperative extension professionals. Methods of dissemination include website publications, listservs, issue briefs, professional forums, and, policy workshops. The group plans, specifically, a nationwide workshop in Washington D.C. to disseminate the research findings. Also, a second conference is already in the works with AARP and the proposed W2141 group. Monographs to be prepared by the group are already planned, including one by Glasgow and Brown, "Retirement Migration and the Road to Rural America" to be published by Springer. In turn, stakeholders will offer insights and identify their needs for new information and research. The constituent groups will be able to focus the framing of several issue briefs to be written by committee members.
Organization and Governance:Our technical committee will be organized according to the current structure of the W1001. Currently a Chair and Vice Chair are elected from attendees at the annual project meeting. The Chair coordinates the activities of the project and facilitates general meetings; the Vice Chair serves when the chair is unable to do so. A Program Coordinator organizes the committee's annual meetings and conducts educational sessions for the group. A listserv, based at Utah State University and supervised by a listserv administrator, facilitates interaction among committee members. During the week of September 11, 2001 and, similarly, when the committee was forced to cancel its annual meeting due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 the listserv acted as the substitute "site". Thus, it is already functioning as a principal venue of discourse among committee members in lieu of face-to-face interaction. A Local Arrangements Coordinator is responsible for the planning of each annual meeting. A web master will be designated to coordinate the planned project's website. All officers are to be elected for at least two-year terms to provide continuity. Administrative guidance will be provided by an assigned Administrative Advisor and a CSREES Representative.
The Project will be administered by: Washington State University
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Beale, C. and R. Gibbs. 2006. Severity and Concentration of Persistent High Poverty in Nonmetro Areas. Amber Waves. 4(1):10-11.
Berry, E. Helen and Annabel Kirschner. 2002. The Changing Face of the American West: The Burgeoning Latino Population. Western Regional Development Center.
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