Rural America

New Research Challenges Idea Behind ‘Deaths of Despair’

Low-income Americans are dying at a higher rate than high-income Americans. In fact, the life span of low-income Americans is becoming shorter – a trend largely attributed to drug and alcohol-related deaths, which has been called deaths of despair. “The least well-off Americans have seen their wages become stagnant, their […]

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Q&A: Why We Need Better Reporting on Rural America

Is there room to tell more complete stories about the diverse circumstances and perspectives in rural America? We better hope so, says Kansas native Sarah Smarsh, author of the bestselling memoir “Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth.” Smarsh speaks with veteran […]

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‘Cities v. Country’: Focus on Divide Means Rural Voices Go Unheard

You probably wouldn’t suspect it, but journalist Sarah Smarsh’s dad’s favorite politician is Maxine Waters. Nick Smarsh is a fourth-generation wheat farmer and lifelong construction worker from rural Kansas, Waters a decidedly liberal congresswoman from southern California. Granted, Nick Smarsh isn’t likely among the majority of rural Americans in his […]

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