Poverty And Place: A Critical Review Of Rural Poverty Literature
Poverty rates are highest in the most urban and most rural areas of the United States, and are higher in non-metropolitan (nonmetro) than metropolitan (metro) areas, yet rural poverty remains relatively obscured from mainstream political and popular attention. This fact has motivated considerable research by rural social scientists on the relationship between poverty and place generally, and rural-urban differences in poverty, in particular. We provide a critical review of the literature on rural poverty, paying particular attention to methodogical and statistical challenges facing quantitative analyses. This body of research confirms the higher prevalence of poverty in nonmetro areas, and finds that while both compositional (individual) and contextual (structural) factors are at play, a complete explanation remains elusive. We note endogenous membership, omitted variable, and other challenges facing researchers, and conclude with suggestions for further research.
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