Investing in Rural Prosperity

Armed Forces day parade in small town America.

Rural communities throughout the United States are vibrant places with great people, rich culture and heritage, and deep social ties. But many rural communities have been buffeted by the increasing prominence of automation and the knowledge-based economy, along with long-term challenges arising from lower educational levels, remoteness and other factors. As a result, many communities are at a crossroads, wondering which direction will lead to prosperity for all. Investing in Rural Prosperity seeks to help people living in rural areas navigate the challenges and opportunities they face to achieve a prosperous future.

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Additional Resources

The Federal Reserve recognizes that aggregate statistics on economic and financial conditions can mask important variations between regions and locales. Research demonstrates that the economic benefits of the business cycle are not distributed evenly across communities, particularly rural communities. In pursuit of its goal of maximum employment, the Federal Reserve conducts research and analysis to understand where and why these disparities exist, and how they affect businesses and residents. It also brings together local, state, and national partners to identify solutions and to accelerate positive change in their communities.

Investing in Rural Prosperity, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, seeks to help rural individuals and communities achieve shared economic prosperity. By outlining a framework for how to approach rural development successfully and showcasing stories of progress in different communities—as well as highlighting recommendations for action by policymakers, practitioners, funders and researchers—the editors and authors hope to advance this important goal.

The book includes contributions from 79 authors in the United States and abroad, representing financial institutions, nonprofits, philanthropies, academia and government agencies. The chapters touch on a wide range of topics, including entrepreneurship support, workforce development, energy efficient manufactured housing, and digital inclusion. The book delves into the challenges of our past and the promise of our future. Ultimately, Investing in Rural Prosperity is a call to action, so we can realize that promise—together.

The views expressed in the book do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, or the Federal Reserve System.


If you have any questions, please contact a member of the Community Development Team.

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