Economic Research Service, updated September 17, 2011: “ERS research in this area focuses on the economic, social, and demographic factors that affect the income and poverty status of rural residents and their participation in Federal assistance programs, including food assistance programs. The industrial sources of earned income vary widely across rural areas. Social Security and other retirement programs play a large role in the economic status of rural retirees and the areas in which they are concentrated. Changes in welfare programs may disproportionately affect high-poverty rural areas. ERS conducts research at the family (micro) and area (macro) levels to provide policymakers with a detailed picture of rural income, poverty, and welfare-program conditions.”
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