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Rural Indiana Issues

We know Indiana is changing, but how well are the most rural counties in the state doing relative to their more urban counterparts? Are there issues specific to rural counties that create new opportunities for the future or barriers that inhibit progress?

The Rural Indiana Issues series reports on how well rural Indiana has fared over the last decade and identifies issues important to consider as communities move forward. The series features topics of interest to all residents in Indiana, but especially to rural decision makers.

Defining Rural Indiana - The First Step

This 4-page publication defines what we mean by "rural Indiana" in terms of data analysis, explains the process we went through to arrive at such a definition, and presents a figure and a table that, together, depict a p...


Population Trends in Rural Indiana

this 4-page publication describes population trends in rural Indiana, discussing the size of the population, the drivers of population change, and the implications of the population trends. The publication is the second...


The Role of Community Banks in Rural Indiana

This 4-page publication discusses the role of community banks in rural Indiana and the transition from brick and mortar facilities provided by community banks or bank branches to mobile and online products. The publicati...


The Aging of indiana's Rural Population

This 6-page publication explains the causes and consequences of an aging population and discusses whether rural Indiana is experiencing an aging of its population similar to that of the U.S. population as a whole. ...


Poverty in Rural Indiana

This 4-page publication explains how poverty is defined, sketches a profile of poverty in rural Indiana before and after the economic crisis of 2008, and discusses what this means for rural Indiana and what role communit...


Unemployment Trends in Rural Indiana

This 4-page publication briefly defines the unemployment rate, provides a snapshot of recent unemployment trends in Indiana, and highlights some implications and the relevent takeaways for community leaders. It is the s...


Food Insecurity in Rural Indiana

This 4-page publication focuses on food insecurity, or the lack of access to adequate food, in rural Indiana. The publication briefly defines food insecurity, examines data to compare rural Indiana with the U.S., and add...


Focus on the Infrastructure: Indiana's Local Bridges

This 4-page publication focuses on Indiana's local bridges, discussing such issues as bridge evaluation based on bridge inspections, sufficiency rating, funding, and future challenges....


Educational Attainment and The Rural Indiana Economy

This 5-page publication compares educational attainment levels for rural and urban areas in Indiana, focusing on the prevalence of educational deprivation in rural parts of the state....


School Referenda in Indiana: A Rural Perspective

This 3-page publication discusses the history of referenda proposals in Indiana, the factors influencing whether they pass or fail, and the implications for the future of rural school districts....


Poverty and Teen Childbearing in Rural Indiana

This 5-page publication discusses the connection between poverty and teen childbearing in rural Indiana and the implications for Indiana's rural communities....


Methamphetamine Use in Rural Indiana

This 4-page publication discusses the effects of meth use and why meth use is such a problem. It then describes trends in meth use in rural Indiana and provides suggestions on possible ways to combat the problem....


Using Food Policy Councils to Address Rural Food Issues

This 5-page publication discusses using food policy councils to address rural food issues. It defines food policy councils, outlines some opportunities and challenges, and examines policy implications....


Transport Challenges in Rural Indiana

This 6-page publication discusses the transport situation in Indiana's rural counties and identifies the counties with the greatest transport challenges, that is, those counties with the largest gaps between needs and ac...


Views on Animal Agriculture in Rural Versus Urban Indiana Counties

This 4-page publication discusses where consumers are purchasing food, their sources of information on animal welfare, whether their household has been involved in food production, their perceptions of livestock operatio...