Economic Opportunity in Rural Communities

Posted December 31, 2013, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Casey Foundation focuses on ensuring all children have the opportunity to succeed in life — including the more than 25 percent of kids in rural areas who live in poverty (a significantly higher rate than in the suburbs).

Families living in high-poverty communities are often isolated, and their children are more likely to lack crucial resources such as health insurance, child care, access to public benefits such as the earned income tax credit and other support services. Those in rural communities face additional hurdles: They are often far removed from opportunities and support services they need to succeed and live in communities that struggle to mobilize the resources and connections that strengthen families. In rural America, being isolated and disconnected — socially or geographically — can thwart the efforts and aspirations of even the most resourceful families, including efforts aimed at helping their kids succeed.

The Foundation has invested for more than a decade in strategies to help families in rural communities get on a path to financial stability. These strategies allow parents to increase and save more of their income, build their assets, access financial coaching and education and, ultimately, better support their children’s healthy growth and development. In addition, Casey supports research to document the effectiveness of these strategies and help inform policy decisions. By proving what works to make a difference in the lives of these children and their families, we aim to increase public and private investments in effective programs that help move kids in low-income families out of poverty.

Learn more about our investments in this arena and the challenges facing America’s low-income families in rural areas:

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