While some overlap exists, the issues facing low- and moderate-income (LMI) individuals and households differ between metropolitan and rural areas, according to the St. Louis Fed’s latest Community Development Outlook Survey.
The survey gathered responses from community stakeholders across the states comprising the Eighth Federal Reserve District.1 This included a mix of respondents from metro (53.6 percent of respondents) and rural (46.4 percent) areas. (A previous post examined responses among all respondents.)
In aggregate, metro area respondents listed generational poverty as the issue having the greatest negative impact on LMI households and communities. Rural respondents, however, listed job availability as the top issue, with generational poverty second. Job availability was third for metro respondents, behind education.
Metro respondents listed education as the basic need most difficult for LMI households to adequately access, with 38.8 percent naming it. Other difficult-to-access needs included shelter (20.6 percent), transportation (18.8 percent) and health care (14.1 percent).
Rural respondents also listed education as the basic need most difficult to adequately access, at 30.4 percent. The order of other needs varied, however, with transportation at 23.9 percent, health care at 23.2 percent and shelter at 9.4 percent.
Respondents were asked what the greatest assets of their communities were. Among the replies for metro respondents were:
Among rural respondents, replies included:
Participants were also asked about the current ability of LMI individuals or households to improve their economic situations. The responses are below.
1 Eighth District states are Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.