The rise of the rural creative class

Wider Image: Iowa - America's Heartland

Richard Florida:  One of the most persistent myths in America today is that urban areas are innovative and rural areas are not. While it is overwhelmingly clear that innovation and creativity tend to cluster in a small number of cities and metropolitan areas, it’s a big mistake to think that they somehow skip over rural America.

A series of studies from Tim Wojan and his colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service documents the drivers of rural innovation. Their findings draw on a variety of data sets, including a large-scale survey that compares innovation in urban and rural areas called the Rural Establishment Innovation Survey (REIS). This is based on some 11,000 business establishments with at least five paid employees in tradable industries—that is, sectors that produce goods and services that are or could be traded internationally—in rural (or non-metro) and urban (metro) areas.

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Rural Chinese families pose with every possession they own

Jiadang (Family Stuff)

Jiadang (Family Stuff) is a project by Chinese photographer Huang Qingjun that shows Chinese families posing next to all of their worldly possessions. He spent almost ten years traveling around to various rural communities in China, asking families to take everything they owned and carefully arrange them outdoors for a picture. (Photos)

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China Expands It’s Pension Program to Cover 60% of Rural Areas

china rural area

China launched a pilot pension program as part of efforts to narrow the standard-of-living gap between rural and urban residents.

China plans to expand a piloted pension program to 60 percent of its rural areas this year, an increase from the original target of 40 percent, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang said Friday.


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