Economic Development

In Search of “Good” Rural Data: Measuring Rural Prosperity

May 1, 2020  • Community Strategies Group

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Economic and demographic data drive research, policy development, distribution of government resources, and private investment decisions. But many of the datasets that policymakers, practitioners, and researchers rely on to understand and guide resources to rural communities fall short in representing rural realities. Given the increasing attention to rural areas in public policy and popular discourse, along with notable trends disadvantaging rural places—persistent poverty and global economic shifts—this search for “good” rural data is timely.