Capitol Research

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends six strategies to reduce the spread of HIV and STD's. Only one of 32 rural states has all six policies in place and less than one-third have four or more of the six recommended policies in place. 

The Great Recession hit rural areas hard as median incomes fell, poverty rates increased and the metropolitan-nonmetropolitan wage gap continued to grow.  In addition, nonmetro areas continue to lose young adults through out-migration, and rural populations are increasingly relying more heavily on transfer payments due to rising medical costs and an aging population.

The U.S. government manages nearly 30 percent of the country's total territory. Despite the fact that the energy industry leased more than 45 million acres of onshore federal lands in 2009, a new report shows that the industry is not using 21.6 million acres of land under lease for oil production or exploration. The Obama administration is now considering whether millions of acres of federal land in the West should be protected as wild lands. But some state officials believe cuts in royalties from mineral development and delays in the permitting process for public lands that could result from the new protections could have a significant negative economic impact for their states.

State agriculture departments increasingly are branding produce and goods to guide a variety of purchasing choices. Whether influencing state residents to buy local produce or promoting exports to other states and countries, states are increasing their agriculture markets. 

Rural households have worse health outcomes than urban households. Access to care is limited due to less insurance coverage, financial hardship and geographical access to care. Highlighted state policies address increasing the health care workforce in rural areas.

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