Rural Iowa at a Glance – Population Trends
Publication summarizes current demographic and population trends for Iowa’s metro, micropolitan, and rural areas. Easy to understand charts show trends between 2011 to 2021. Purpose is to quickly inform policymakers and the public about key issues facing Iowa. Indicators include: population, births and deaths, migration, age structure, and race and ethnicity.
Pages / Length: 2. Publication Date: 12/2022
Rural Iowa at a Glance – Economic Trends
Publication summarizes current employment and income trends for Iowa’s metro, micropolitan, and rural areas. Easy to understand charts show trends between 2011 to 2021. Purpose is to quickly inform policymakers and the public about key issues facing Iowa. Indicators include: household income, poverty, labor force participation, unemployment, jobs, self-employed businesses, farm businesses, jobs by industry, earnings, earnings by industry, and gross domestic product by industry.
Pages / Length: 4. Publication Date: 12/2022
Rural Iowa at a Glance – Farm Trends
Publication summarizes current farm trends by farm size class and farm production specialty. Easy to understand charts show trends between 2011 to 2021. Purpose is to quickly inform policymakers and the public about key issues facing Iowa. Indicators include: number of farms, farmland acres, agricultural production value, net farm income, household income for farm families including off-farm sources, debt to asset ratios, and debt repayment capacity utilization rates.
Pages / Length: 4. Publication Date: 12/2022
Data and Methods
County data are aggregated into metropolitan core (counties with an urban center over 50,000 people, plus outlying suburbs linked by commuting patterns), metropolitan suburban (outlying counties of a core metro county that are linked by commuting patterns), micropolitan (counties with an urban center of between 10,000-49,999 people, plus outlying counties linked by commuting patterns), and rural/non-core (counties having no urban center of 10,000 or more) areas based on 2021 Core-Based Statistical Areas delineated by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Rural and non-core are used interchangeably, but rural has a specific definition not used in this bulletin (rural officially defined as places under 2,500 people or the countryside). Income data between 2011 and 2021 are inflation-adjusted to real dollars using the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis personal consumption price indexes.
Population and age counts are intercensal estimates between the official decennial censuses. Natural change is the difference between births and deaths; and net migration is the difference of those who moved in versus those who moved out. Both are reported as a rate per 1,000. Persons of color is the population self-identifying as both a race and Hispanic status. Source: Population Estimates and Decennial Census, U.S. Census Bureau.
Median household income includes wages, self-employment, capital gains, transfers (retirement, Social Security, welfare) and all other income from persons in the household; and is reported as the income at the 50th percentile of households (median). Medians are used instead of means because they are less affected by very high incomes. Source: Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau. The poverty rate is calculated as the percent of people living in households whose income (from earnings, capital gains, and transfers) falls below the poverty income line for their household size. It excludes people living in institutions or group quarters such as prisons, military bases, nursing facilities, and college dormitories. Source: Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau.
The labor force is the number of people available for work, counting those employed plus those jobless but looking for work. The labor force participation rate used in this publication is the labor force divided by total the population 16 years and older. It measures the percent of people participating in the job market, and by extension the broader economy. It is similar to the unemployment rate except it includes those not seeking work such as the unemployable, students, homemakers, and retirees. Source: Local Area Unemployment Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate is the number of people unemployed divided by the labor force (those employed plus the jobless who are looking for work). The unemployment rate measures the percent of people not having a job that want one; and is a narrow measure of unemployment because it does not count the unemployable, discouraged workers, and those not in the labor force. Source: Local Area Unemployment Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Jobs include both full-time and part-time positions such as wage and salary jobs, farm and non-farm proprietors, and general partners for all economic sectors (private, government, and farm). It measures jobs, not employed persons, so one person may have multiple jobs. Earnings include wages and salaries, supplements to wages or salaries, and proprietors’ income earned from jobs as previously defined. Gross domestic product is the gross output of an industry or a sector, less its intermediate inputs, and is the contribution of that industry/sector to gross domestic product (GDP). GDP measures value added by the industry, which is the sum of compensation of employees, taxes on production and imports less subsidies, and gross operating surplus. Economic sectors are defined using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The farm sector includes farm proprietors and farm workers. The goods-producing sector includes construction and manufacturing. The professional-related services sector includes information/telecom, finance and insurance, real estate and rentals, professional services, management of companies, administrative support services, private educational services, and private healthcare and social services. The personal-related services sector includes entertainment and recreation services, accommodation and food services, repair and maintenance services, other personal services, and retail trade. The state and local government sector includes state agencies, city and county government, public K-12 education, and public higher education. Self-employed businesses include sole proprietorships or individual general partners for non-farm activities. Self-employed farms include farm sole proprietors and farm non-corporate partners engaged in agricultural production activities. Source: Regional Economic Accounts, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
USDA’s Economic Research Service classifies farms according to occupation and gross cash farm income (GCFI). These data exclude corporate-owned farms. Retirement farms are those operated by a retired person with a GCFI under $350,000. Residence farms are those either operated by someone whose primary occupation is not farming but has GCFI under $350,000; or operated by a farmer with GCFI under $150,000. Small farms are those operated by a farmer with a GCFI of $150,000 to $349,999. Midsize commercial farms are farmer-operated with GCFI of $350,000 to $999,999. Large commercial farms are farmer-operated with GCFI of $1 million or more. Net farm income (NFI) is the profit or loss of the farm operation from the farmer’s labor, management, and capital after expenses. It is the difference between farm production incomes less production expenses; and the value of commodities consumed on-farm, depreciation, and inventory changes. Farm household income counts all income from farm and non-farm sources for all earners in the household (such as spouses), and is only reported for farm families, not corporate farms. It includes net farm income plus all other off-farm income sources (salaries and wages, non-farm self-employment, dividends and rents, retirement and Social Security, and cash public assistance). Debt to asset ratios are defined as total liabilities divided by total assets; and measures the risk associated with the operation’s financial structure. Assets include current ones that will be realized in cash, sold or consumed in the production process within one year; and non-current ones such as farm real estate and working assets that support the farm. Liabilities include current debt (paid within one year) and non-current debt (payable after one year) owed by the farm. The debt repayment capacity utilization (DRCU) is the percent of current farm debt over the maximum feasible debt (assuming 10% interest rates) the farm can cover from regular income streams, which measures debt utilization and the farm’s ability to take on additional debt. A small number of data cells (4.1%) were missing for very large farms and some production specialties. Missing cells were imputed using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods using 500 imputations, forced to integers with no upper of lower bounds. Imputed cells showed high consistency (CVs below 15%) and were used in the analysis. Source: Agricultural Resource Management Survey, Economic Research Service and National Agricultural Statistics Services, USDA.