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The Potential Role For CDFIs in the Opportunity Zones of the Investing in Opportunities Act (IIOA)

March 1, 2019

Opportunity Zones ("Op-Zones") are likely to bring a material amount of capital investment into low-income communities. The intent is to encourage investment as much as it can. This encouragement is in the statutory structure and language as well as the propagated rules to date: The regulation is light, the penalties are modest and the barriers to entry are minimal.

Social Service Delivery in Two Rural Counties

February 21, 2019

When low-income residents struggle to make ends meet, non-profit social service agencies can help fill the gaps. In doing so, these agencies must find sufficient funding, retain qualified staff, and craft efficient service delivery mechanisms that are respectful of clients and communities. Some of the challenges that service providers encounter are exacerbated by rural characteristics, such as vast geographic distances and the lack of economies of scale. Yet in some ways rurality is beneficial, as small communities can facilitate community engagement and providers can engage natural supports in their service delivery work.

Rural Depopulation in a Rapidly Urbanizing America

February 6, 2019

This brief examines demographic trends in rural America, a region often overlooked in a nation dominated by urban interests. Yet, 46 million people live in rural areas that encompass 72 percent of the land area of the United States. "Rural America" is a simple term that describes a remarkably diverse collection of people and places. It encompasses vast agricultural regions that are among the most productive in the world; sprawling exurban areas just beyond the urban fringe; successful ultra-modern industrial, energy, and warehousing complexes strung along rural interstates; regions where coal, ore, oil, gas, and timber are extracted, processed, and shipped; struggling factory towns facing intense global competition; and fast-growing recreational areas situated near scenic mountains and lakes.

Half of Women in New Hampshire Have Experienced Sexual Harassment at Work

January 30, 2019

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious problem affecting workers across the United States and in New Hampshire. Nationwide, approximately four in ten women and more than one in ten men have been victims of workplace sexual harassment in their lifetimes. Research shows that such harassment has lasting economic, health, and family-related consequences for victims and their families: it increases victims' job exits and financial stress, alters career paths, and has deleterious consequences for mental and physical health, including depression, anger, and self-doubt

Data Snapshot: U.S. Population Growth Continues to Slow Due to Fewer Births and More Deaths

December 20, 2018

The U.S. population grew by just 2,020,000 or 0.62 percent between July 2017 and July 2018 according to recent Census Bureau estimates. This is the lowest population growth rate since 1937. A major contributor to the nation's recent low growth rate is the diminishing surplus of births over deaths—what demographers call natural increase. There were just 1,041,000 more births than deaths last year, the smallest natural increase in more than 70 years. When fewer babies are born and more deaths occur, population growth slows. Last year, there was a record number of deaths (2,814,000), but relatively few births (3,856,000). Just ten years ago, the surplus of births over deaths was 44 percent higher (1,860,000). This dwindling excess of births over deaths is occurring nationwide. Natural increase diminished in all but North Dakota and the District of Columbia over the past ten years. The reduction was substantial in many states; twelve experienced at least a 60 percent reduction in natural increase during this period and another twenty-four experienced declines of 40 to 60 percent. In West Virginia and Maine, more people are now dying than being born. The sharp reductions in natural increase make states increasingly dependent on migration to fuel significant population growth. And, in the nine states without sufficient natural increase to offset migration losses, the population declined last year.

Facilitating Vulnerability and Power in New Hampshire Listen’s "Blue and You "

December 14, 2018

This study examines the on-going work of New Hampshire Listens, a convener of deliberative conversations, specific to their work with police-community relationships. Attending particularly to the facilitators and planners of New Hampshire "Blue and You" in a small city, the study found systemic practices of early stakeholder involvement in the planning, holding space for disparate views, promoting storytelling, and creating intimate physical spaces addressed the vulnerability felt by participants. These practices distributed power among stakeholders, aided in preparing participants for the conversation, and fostered neutrality in the forum. They provide several ideas for how deliberation practitioners and scholars might respond to the present polarizing political context.

Population, Greenspace, and Development: Conversion Patterns in the Great Lakes Region

December 11, 2018

An ongoing concern in both urban and rural America is the tradeoff between residential and commercial development and the conservation of forestland, shrublands, and grasslands, commonly referred to as greenspace. As communities develop, adding schools, housing, infrastructure, and the commercial space needed for an expanding population and economy, greenspace remains critical because it contributes to air and water purification, storm abatement, and enhanced human health and quality of life. The tension between development and maintaining greenspace is greatest where human populations are densely settled and expanding, and the concern is of particular relevance because the transformation tends to be permanent—developed land rarely reverts to greenspace. 

More Young Adult Migrants Moving to New Hampshire from Other U.S. Locations

December 6, 2018

New Hampshire received a significant net inflow of people from other U.S. states between 2013 and 2017 according to new Census Bureau estimates. The average annual domestic migration gain was 5,900 between 2013 and 2017. In contrast, only about 100 more people moved to New Hampshire than left it for other U.S. destinations annually during the Great Recession and its aftermath between 2008 and 2012. The transformation was greatest among those in their 20s, who had an average annual migration gain of 1,200 between 2013 and 2017 compared to an average loss of 1,500 annually from 2008 to 2012. Among those in their 30s, the net annual migration gain nearly doubled during the same period, while the net inflow of those 40 to 49 diminished slightly. As more family age adults migrated to New Hampshire, their children fueled a significant increase in the net influx of those under age 20. In contrast, among those age 50 and over, the net outflow of people from the state increased slightly. Modest immigration from other countries at all ages supplemented the domestic migration gains analyzed here. These recent domestic and immigrant migration gains are both modest, but they provide additional human and social capital to a state challenged by an aging workforce and population.

The Interaction Between the Minimum Wage and the Federal EITC

November 13, 2018

In this fact sheet, authors Andrew Schaefer, Jessica Carson, Marybeth Mattingly, and Andrew Wink examine the interaction between the minimum wage and the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to determine whether a minimum wage increase would produce gains in the sum of earnings plus EITC dollars for low-income workers. They report that for workers earning the minimum wage, an increase would result in higher income; none would experience a lower net income due to changes in the federal EITC credit (though this may be offset by loss of other safety net program benefits). For some family types, increased income would come primarily from a higher minimum wage; for others, gains would also come from the higher-value federal EITC triggered by their higher earnings.

Data Snapshot: Fewer Young Adults Lack Health Insurance Following Key ACA Provisions

October 31, 2018

The share of people without health insurance has dropped dramatically since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but declines have been most dramatic among young adults age 19 to 25. In 2008, one-in-three 23-year-olds were uninsured, likely reflecting their graduation from college and therefore, their ineligibility to be covered on parental plans. Beginning in 2010, the ACA allowed young adults to remain on their parents' plans until age 26; the orange line in Figure 1 reflects this shift, as 26-year-olds, rather than 23-year-olds, became the most often uninsured by 2013.

The USDA Summer Food Service Program in Coös County, New Hampshire

October 30, 2018

When schools close in the summer, children who depend on school nutrition programs can lose accessto regular meals. To help bridge this gap, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) works with state agencies to identify sponsors and meal sites to provide free lunchesin the summer to eligible school-age children. This paper reports on the results of interviews withprogram sponsors and site staff in four communities in Coös County, New Hampshire. Discovering how thisprogram works on the ground and understanding the experiences of program sponsors and staff can help toinform efforts to serve eligible children.

Data Snapshot: EITC Continues to Reach Families in Poor Places

October 9, 2018

Recent proposals in the House and Senate (for example, the Grow American Incomes Now Act) focus on amplifying the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)—a refundable tax credit for low-income workers—to compensate for growing wage inequity. We find that the share of EITC filers who are families with children is especially high in the poorest counties (those counties outlined in black on Map 1), including many places throughout the South. Many of these counties are nonmetropolitan counties (see Map 2), suggesting that the EITC can provide safety net support in places where other social services may be less available. While an EITC expansion could be costly, existing research shows that its effects on poverty reduction, employment, and both children's health and achievement are considerable, and therefore, worth considering in the scheme of ongoing broad tax revisions.