ERIC Number: ED335180
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: N/A
Recent Trends in Rural Poverty: A Summary for Educators. ERIC Digest.
Huang, Gary; Howley, Craig
This ERIC digest summarizes recent studies on poverty in rural areas. In 1986, the poverty rate in rural areas was 50 percent higher than the urban rate. During the 1980s, rural poverty stayed higher, rising more rapidly during recession, and falling more slowly in the "recovery" period. Characteristics that distinguish the rural poor from the urban poor are: (1) the rural poor are more likely than the urban poor to work, but low wages keep them in poverty; (2) the majority of poor rural families are two-parent families, whereas the poor urban family is typically headed by a single parent; and (3) a much larger portion of the rural poor are whites than in urban areas. Some analysts believe poverty is more a function of history and economic structure than of individual or group characteristics. The rural economy is characterized by dependence on natural resources, a narrow industrial base in a given locale, and emphasis on low skill labor. Other analysts believe lack of human capital is a major cause of rural poverty, and blame an educationally disadvantaged labor force. However, the largest poverty gap between urban and rural populations is among those with more education, and the smallest among high school dropouts. As a potential influence on the well-being of individual student from poor families, education is clearly important. On the other hand, the role of education in changing the structural features of rural poverty is clearly limited. (KS)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.