Publications

 

Research reports

The Center for Rural Policy and Development produces research on rural issues in four primary areas: Technology, Economic Development, Demography and Education. All reports are in pdf format for easy downloading and printing. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these reports. For a copy of this free software, click here.

Featured reports:

State of Rural Minnesota Report, 2015
• Each year, the Center assembles the latest demographic and economic data to create the State of Rural Minnesota report. Most of the data used for the presentation can also be found at our Atlas of Minnesota Online. (January 2016)

City transit, rural transit
• Public transit is important to all communities across the state, but the form it takes and who uses it varies a lot depending on location. This article and the accompanying fact look at the top things to know about public transit in Minnesota, including who operates it, how it’s funded, and most importantly, who uses it and why. (September 2015)

Technology

2012 Minnesota Internet Study: Digital Divide 2.0 and Beyond
• Examining the current state of Internet access in Minnesota and how the digital divide is redefined now that Internet access is here to stay.

2012 Economic Contribution of Telecommunication Companies Serving Greater Minnesota

• Please visit this link to read a report of the economic impact analysis program.

2010 Minnesota Internet Study

• Looking at the growth of broadband access and use for clues to what’s next
Full report

2010 Broadband speeds in Minnesota’s school districts
• An examination of issues surrounding broadband speeds in schools
Full report

2007 Minnesota Internet Study
• Tracking the progress of broadband
Full report

2006 Minnesota Internet Study
• Broadband enters the mainstream
Full report

2005 Rural Minnesota Internet Study
• An examination of metro/rural differences in digital technology adoption
Full report

2004 Rural Minnesota Internet Study:
• Monitoring the rise of broadband use in Greater Minnesota households
Full report

Business, the Internet and Broadband in Greater Minnesota:
• 2004 survey of businesses
Full report

Broadband access in Rural Minnesota:
• 2003 survey of broadband providers
Policy brief

2003 Rural Minnesota Internet Study
• Tracking the rise of broadband use in Greater Minnesota households
Consumer survey

The 2002 Rural Minnesota Internet Study:
• How rural Minnesotans are adopting and using telecommunications technology
Consumer survey report
• The role and state of rural telephone companies
Provider survey report
• Examining the communications needs of Greater Minnesota’s companies
Manufacturers survey report

The 2001 Rural Minnesota Poll:
Asking rural Minnesotans questions on taxes, workforce development and telecommunications

Full report

The Minnesota Rural Telecommunications Initiative
Final report and recommendations
Preliminary report defining the issues


Economic Development

City transit, rural transit
• Public transit is important to all communities across the state, but the form it takes and who uses it varies a lot depending on location. This article and the accompanying fact look at the top things to know about public transit in Minnesota, including who operates it, how it’s funded, and most importantly, who uses it and why. (September 2015)

Diversity in rural wealth: The many capitals of rural Minnesota
by Ben Winchester, University of Minnesota Extension
• The uncertainty of where individual wealth will end up as baby boomers pass their assets on to the next generation has raised alarms about the future of our small towns. In this article, Ben look’s at wealth in a broader way, at the community rather than individual level. Looking at wealth this way shows that rural areas have built up some significant sources of wealth in recent decades, just not the kind we’re used to. (August 2015)

Rural grocery stores by the numbers.
• Demographic changes in Greater Minnesota have been hard on local grocery stores. Between 2000 and 2013, Greater Minnesota lost 14% of its grocery stores. Read the fact sheet on the reasons, the implications, and some possible strategies for new models.

Untangling the issue of freight rail.
• This new brief on freight rail examines the role it plays in the state’s economy, and the complicated issues that go with it, including transportation costs for commodities and oil from North Dakota.

Identifying Best Practices for Collaboration.
• A study of four successful shared services projects around Greater Minnesota. The research looks at why local governments decided to collaborate, the challenges they faced, and what made these projects ultimately work.

The State of Water.
• A discussion on the complex relationship between rural communities and our state’s most precious resource, water.

Roads Less Traveled: How emerging issues are creating hazards for rural highway funding.
• Transportation officials project that over the next two decades, the funds needed just to maintain Minnesota’s roads will fall at least $12 billion short. This policy brief discusses how that shortfall will show up on increasingly deteriorating rural roads.

Perceptions and Regulations:
How Minnesota Business Owners See the Impact of State and Local Regulations on their Firms
Full report

Effects of the Rising Cost of Gasoline on Rural Consumers in Minnesota (July 2009)
Full report

Understanding Small Business Development and Entrepreneurialism
in Rural Minnesota

Full report

The Job Opportunity Building Zone Program:
Assessing Employment and Wage Outcomes (Dec. 2006)

Full report

The Job Opportunity Building Zones Program:
Moving Forward in Times of Uncertainty (Dec. 2005)
Full report

Minnesota’s Commercial Alternative Energy Industries:
Production, Policies and Local Economies (Dec. 2005)

Full report (revised edition)

Job Opportunity Building Zones:
A Year One Progress Report (Feb. 2005)

Full report

Job Opportunity Building Zones:
Constructing the Framework for Program Evaluation (Aug. 2004)
Full Report

Understanding Job Opportunity Building Zones
Policy brief

The Economic Impact of 501(c)3 Nonprofits in Northwest Minnesota
Full report

Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota Connections:
A Business Perspective

Policy brief
News release

The Rural Health Care Marketplace:
A survey of businesses and health care providers in southwestern and northwestern Minnesota
Full report

Short Rotation Woody Crops:
A role for the state of Minnesota

Full report

The 2001 Rural Minnesota Poll:
Asking rural Minnesotans questions on taxes, workforce development and telecommunications

Full report

Community Aggregation in Greater Minnesota Under a Restructured Electrical System
Full report

Estimating the Economic Impact of the Latino Workforce in South Central Minnesota
Full report


Demography

Addressing the coming workforce squeeze
• For most parts of the state, the coming workforce squeeze is already here. A smaller pool of workers means businesses—and communities—will be competing for their attention. Communities around Minnesota are starting to work on how to make their towns the places people want to move to. (July 2015)

The coming workforce squeeze
• It’s a demographic phenomenon planners have been warning about for years, and now it’s here. By 2035, Minnesota’s 65+ population is expected to grow by 93%, or 784,000 seniors, while losing 5% of its workforce-age population, or 170,000 people ages 15-64 as Baby Boomers pass the 65-year mark. Here’s the story. (June 2015)

Challenges in building a long-term care workforce.
• The age wave we’ve been expecting for the last 30 years is here now, and now communities both in Greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro are facing the problem of where to find workers, particularly in the field of long-term care. This presentation outlines the issues, some takeaways, and some suggestions on what can be done to help.

Addressing Diversity: Making a Difference in Our Communities
Workbook (1.1 MB)

The Vitality of Latino Communities in Rural Minnesota
Full report
Policy brief in English
Resumen de política publica en Español


Education

Educational Interests, Needs, and Learning Preferences of Immigrant Farmers: Examining what the state’s newest farmers want and need in continuing education.

A Region Apart:
A look at challenges and strategies for rural K-12 schools (April 2009)

Full report

Latino Students in our Public Schools:
A Closer Look

Full report

The Entrepreneurial Campus Initiative:
Understanding the Entrepreneurial Orientation of Students

Full report

Capitalizing on the Potential of Minnesota’s Rural Campuses
Full report

Small Schools Under Siege:
Evidence of Resource Inequality in Minnesota Public Schools

Full Report
Policy brief

Making Difficult Times Worse:
The impact of per-pupil funding formulas on rural Minnesota schools

Full report

The Need is Now:
Dealing with Minnesota’s teacher shortages

Full report