ERIC Number: ED308047
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Socioeconomic Transitions in Rural Communities: The Nebraska Experience.
Olsen, Duane A.
A detailed examination of one agriculturally dependent Nebraska county was conducted to determine the changes believed to be underway as a result of the economic hard times associated with the farm crisis of the early 1980s. Fillmore county, with a 1980 population of 5098, was selected as it derived 25% of its total labor, salary, and proprietary income from agriculture in the 1980-84 period. A partnership was formed between a university research team and a local economic development organization. A telephone survey was completed early in 1988 by 3.5% of the 1980 census population. The results were compiled in two categories: (1) economic behavior patterns; and (2) community characteristics and social participation patterns. Respondents indicated a preference for purchasing goods and services in their hometown and county seat, citing convenience, hometown support, and trust of local merchants. Purchases made outside their hometown or county were associated with the absence or closure of local outlets offering those goods or services. Those responding indicated that 33% of all household goods and 22% of services were purchased outside the county. In terms of rating their community, respondents indicated it was a good place to live and raise children and they would be hesitant to move. Most cited a lack of employment opportunities and industry and felt that economic conditions were worse in 1987 than in 1980. Social participation patterns were closely associated with education and household income levels. Church, veterans organizations, civic, and school activities were prominent in the responses. Consistent with some of the findings of this study, local groups and individuals have taken action. A retail business incubator has been formed and new businesses have been opened based on a local survey of community needs. (ALL)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nebraska