PAA Cosponsors Virtual Briefing Featuring Experts from Field of Rural Demography

By PAA Web posted 03-18-2022 12:00 AM

Autumn in Ottawa Valley

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On March 18, the Population Association of America, in coordination with the Rural Population Research Network (funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Interdisciplinary Network on Rural Population Health and Aging (funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA)), and Association of Population Centers, sponsored its first virtual congressional briefing of 2022. The briefing, “Small Towns/Big Trends: Demographic Insights on Living, Working and Thriving in Rural America,” featured a panel of seven population scientists based at different universities who collaborate via the USDA and NIA supported research networks.

Their presentations featured policy-relevant research outcomes addressing contemporary issues affecting Rural America, including COVID-19, economic mobility, mortality, aging, climate change, and natural impacts of population growth. Specifically, the panelists discussed how these issues are affecting the demography, economy, health, and well-being of rural communities nationwide.  

The audience included congressional staff, federal, state, and local government officials, interest group representatives, and the media.  

  • Dr. Kenneth Johnson, University of New Hampshire
  • Dr. Shannon Monnat, Syracuse University
  • Dr. Mildred Warner, Cornell University
  • Dr. Leif Jensen, Pennsylvania State University
  • Dr. John Green, Southern Rural Development Center
  • Dr. Timothy Slack, Louisiana State University
  • Dr. Jessica Ulrich-Schad, Utah State University
Dr. Marta Tienda, Princeton University

See official PDF invitation.

See speaker biographies.

See full slidedeck.


The U.S. Rural Population Declined for the First Time between 2010 and 2020
Kenneth M. Johnson

Rural Adults Report Worse Employment and Economic Impacts from COVID-19 than Urban Adults
Shannon M. Monnat

Challenges and Opportunities of an Aging Rural Population
Mildred E. Warner and Xue Zhang

Informal Work is More Common in Rural than in Urban America
Leif Jensen, Ann R. Tickamyer, and Tim Slack

Delta Population Change Has Implications for Weathering the Future
John J. Green

Land Loss is an Immediate Threat to Coastal Louisiana Communities
Tim Slack

Population Growth is Related to Natural Hazard Exposure in the Rural Western U.S.
Jessica D. Ulrich-Schad and Matthew J. Barnett

Rural Population Research is Constrained by Census Data Availability and Reliability
J. Tom Mueller and Alexis R. Santos-Lozada

Growing Up in Rural America: New Disadvantages and Surprising Advantages
Shelley Clark, Sam Harper, and Bruce Weber

Rural America Gets a Boost from Migration Changes During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Julia Petersen and Richelle L. Winkler

Counting Moves to Rural Counties: 1991-2016
In exurban America, 'Moving to the country' means 'staying close to the city.'
Shaun A. Goldin and Richelle L. Winkler

Mortality Rates are Higher in Rural than in Urban Areas, and the Gap is Growing
Shannon M. Monnat