Rural Research Needs and Data Sources for Selected Human Services Topics


Rural Research Needs and Data Sources for Selected Human Services Topics

Prepared by: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

August, 2005

This report is available on the Internet at:

The full report is currently only available in PDF format. See below to print the two volumes.



Research Summary (in PDF format)

Volume 1: Research Needs

By: Debra A. Strong, Patricia Del Grosso, Andrew Burwick, Vinita Jethwani, and Michael Ponza

Executive Summary (in PDF format)


  1. Introduction
  2. Rural America: An Overview
  3. Rural Research on Selected Human Services


Volume 2: Data Sources

By: Debra A. Strong, Patricia Del Grosso, Jigar Bhatt, Shannon Phillips, and Kate Scheppke


  1. Rural Human Services Research and Data
  2. Selected Federal and Nonfederal Data Sources
  3. Selected State Data Sources


The authors wish to thank the numerous people who supported or provided assistance with this report. Our Task Order Officers, Ann McCormick and Peggy Halpern of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), conceived the overall project and provided guidance and direction throughout. We would also like to thank Laura Radel from ASPE and Marcia Brand, Tom Morris, Joan Van Nostrand, and Tina Cheatham from DHHS Health Resources and Services Administration, Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP), who provided input and helped identify useful sources of information. The directors of ORHPs Rural Health Research Centers also provided input and suggestions during their meeting in November 2003.

We also thank Bruce A. Weber and Charles Fluharty, co-directors of the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), for inviting us to give a presentation on this project at RUPRIs March 2004 conference, The Importance of Place in Poverty Research and Policy: Creating a National Rural Poverty Agenda. The conference was a productive venue for us to make contacts with various rural experts who provided valuable guidance on rural research and data.

The authors also wish to thank the numerous people from state government agencies who both responded to our inquiries about state administrative data and directed our inquiries to the appropriate staff. Their willingness to provide information in a thorough and timely manner contributed greatly to the report.

At Mathematica, Project Director Michael Ponza oversaw the work that went into this report. Anu Rangarajan reviewed early drafts of this and other project reports, providing detailed and helpful comments. Walt Brower, Patricia Ciaccio, Roy Grisham, and Jane Retter edited the report, which Marjorie Mitchell and Bill Garrett produced. The authors thank everyone for their assistance, and retain responsibility for any errors or omissions that remain.