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The Rural Data Portal

What percentage of Wyoming’s population lives in rural areas or small towns? What is the poverty rate in McDowell County, West Virginia? What percentage of mortgage loans in rural areas are high-cost and how does that compare to the national percentage?

For community developers, such information is critical. We need to know where we are starting from, where we want to go, and what conditions we have to work with. Community data for large cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas has been parsed a multitude of ways by a multitude of researchers. But the communities served by rural CDCs often encompass entire counties outside of metro areas, and city data is not useful to them. Enter Housing Assistance Council’s Rural Data Portal.

The Rural Data Portal is an online resource that allows users to access demographic, economic and housing data for their communities. Users can select to see data at the national, state or county levels. County and state-level reports automatically display comparisons to the national totals.

Most of the information provided in the Rural Data Portal comes from Housing Assistance Council tabulations of various public use data sets such as the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, the American Community Survey (ACS) and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data. The Housing Assistance Housing (HAC) is a national nonprofit organization that supports affordable housing efforts in rural areas of the United States.

Did you find the answers to the opening questions? Wyoming is 74.9 percent rural. West Virginia’s McDowell County (100% rural/small town) has a poverty rate of 33.5 percent as of 2012. And 7.6 of mortgage loans originated in rural areas in 2013 were high-cost, compared to 4.6 percent nationwide. Find that data and more by accessing the Rural Data Portal here.

Posted in Rural Community Development

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