Inflation hits harder in rural areas

Feb 9, 2022
The consumer price index captures how much urban residents spend on goods and services, but it misses some of the nuance of rural life.
Gasoline, which has been going up in price, takes a larger bite out of many rural residents' budgets because they drive longer distances than urbanites do.
David Becker/Getty Images

Some rural Americans worry about USPS cuts, closures

Jan 18, 2022
Since 2007, the United States Postal Service has reported net losses of nearly $100 billion.
Cost-saving measures for the United States Postal Service include the closure and consolidation of branches, especially in rural settings that heavily depend on the service.
Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images

Small towns offer cash to lure telecommuters

Nov 25, 2021
Bemidji, Minnesota, population about 15,000, is offering people $2,500 to relocate to the Northwoods and bring their remote jobs with them.
Sarah Sanchez moved to Bemidji from Phoenix in January, in the middle of the pandemic. She works from home for her job as a grant writer for an Arizona nonprofit.
Dan Kraker/MPR

The infrastructure bill is on the president’s desk. What’s in it for rural America?

Nov 15, 2021
Rural states with the most work to do on those fronts — like Alaska, Wyoming, Montana and Vermont — will receive the most funding per capita.
Street lights line an unpaved road in Kivalina, Alaska. Alaska is among the rural states to receive the highest per capita funding from the $1 trillion infrastructure bill.
Joe Raedle via Getty Images

How employer vaccine mandates are playing out in one tribal economy

Nov 12, 2021
During the pandemic, many tribal governments’ strict public health orders have clashed with the more relaxed approach of nearby communities.
A woman shows her arm after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, with the words "For the ♡ of Native People" drawn on. While Indigenous Americans are vaccinated at high rates, that's often not the case for communities surrounding reservations.
Karen Ducey via Getty Images

Rural Americans brace for more expensive propane

Oct 29, 2021
Heading into winter, the price of residential propane is higher than it's been in 10 years.
Propane is at its highest price in a decade.
Go Nakamura via Getty Images

Rural vaccinations rise but still lag behind cities

Sep 6, 2021
An uptick in vaccination rates in the rural United States corresponds with rising COVID-19 infections and a slimming number of ICU beds.
Local outreach campaigns have helped boost vaccination rates among residents of rural communities.
Spencer Platt via Getty Images

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What would rural health care from a discount retailer look like?

Jul 19, 2021
Dollar General, with more than 17,000 stores, is moving into health care. Many rural communities have lost hospitals in recent years.
Dollar General plans to provide a "comprehensive network" of affordable health services. Residents have a hard time getting medical care in some of the towns where it has stores.
Blake Farmer/WPLN News

How America's economy is embroiled in its multibillion-dollar prison industry

Jun 17, 2021
"The Prison in Twelve Landscapes" director Brett Story on the economic consequences of mass incarceration.
“The Prison in Twelve Landscapes” features Nahshon Thomas, a formerly incarcerated man who teaches chess in Washington Square Park. Filmmaker Brett Story said she wanted to address how prison affects everyday life, like the employment prospects of people with criminal records.
Courtesy of Oh Ratface Films

A view of the vaccine rollout from rural America

Jan 8, 2021
Dr. Scott Anzalone, a family physician and president of the school board in Logan, Ohio, talks about pandemic challenges.
"It's tough to find someone who's willing to come into a rural community," Dr. Scott Anzalone says of finding a partner for his practice, above.
Cassidy Brauner