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Graphs, data tables, maps, and written descriptions give a statistical overview of rural Pennsylvania. A section on rural demographics covers population changes, racial and ethnic makeup, age cohorts, and families and income. Pennsylvania's rural population, the nation's largest, has increased more than its urban population since 1950, with the bulk of that increase occurring in eastern Pennsylvania. A section on socioeconomic conditions notes that poverty is more prevalent in rural areas, and although rural incomes have been rising, the gap between rural and urban income has been increasing. The rural economy has been rebounding, as indicated by figures on unemployment, small business, tourism, and agriculture. The section on rural education presents data on enrollment, educational attainment, postsecondary participation, rural school revenues and expenditures, and dropout rates. Nearly 30 percent of rural adults lack a high school diploma, and about 10 percent have a college degree or higher. Rural dropout rates are lower than urban rates. A rural health care section covers access to medical care, rural disabled, health behavior, and health insurance. Urban areas have almost twice as many physicians per capita as rural areas. Data on county government, rural municipalities, property values, and land use comprise the local government section. An infrastructure section presents data on waste water, drinking water, telecommunications, and highways. A growing inability of rural people to afford housing highlights the rural housing section. An appendix presents a numeric profile of Pennsylvania's rural and urban counties. (TD)

Descriptors: Demography, Educational Attainment, Employment Patterns, Health Services, Housing, Income, Local Government, Poverty, Rural Areas, Rural Economics, Rural Education, Rural Population, Rural Urban Differences, Tables (Data)

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Autor: Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Harrisburg.


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