David Peters
Sociology

515-294-6303
dpeters@iastate.edu

Articles by this author:

Providing an attractive and appealing place to live is a concern for small towns across Iowa. There are things a town can do to attract new residents that are not related to economic factors.

It’s no secret that the farm economy has faced a downturn since its peak in 2012. But how has the downturn affected farmers, specifically related to their farm income and levels of farm debt? A new study by David Peters, associate professor and extension rural sociologist with Iowa State University, aims to directly answer those questions.

The 2015 median household income in rural Iowa was $60,223, almost 11 percent higher than urban incomes ($51,705). Rural Iowans also have become wealthier than rural residents in other states.

Job growth in the retail and service sector has not matched the wages of manufacturing and other middle-skill level jobs lost over the past decade in Iowa. The difference has contributed to a growing disparity between low and high income households, which is especially profound in specific parts of the state, according to a new report by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach rural sociologist David Peters.