Research Report In Search of "Good" Rural Data
Corianne Payton Scally, Eric Burnstein, Matthew Gerken
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Economic and demographic data drive research, policy development, distribution of government resources, and private investment. But many of the datasets that policymakers, practitioners, and researchers rely on to understand and guide resources to rural communities fall short in representing rural realities. Informed by a review of 22 datasets and discussions with top rural-focused researchers, economic development practitioners, and subject-area experts, this report explores the systemic and logistical challenges to improving data accuracy for rural communities, discusses the relative strengths and weaknesses of key datasets, and provides recommendations for policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to improve data quality for rural communities.

Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Wealth and financial well-being Nonprofits and philanthropy
Tags Nonprofit data and statistics Employment and income data Public and private investment Rural people and places Data and technology capacity of nonprofits
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center