David Peters
Sociology

515-294-6303
dpeters@iastate.edu

Articles by this author:

David Peters, associate professor and extension rural sociologist at Iowa State University, looks at changes in Iowa’s demographic, cultural and social makeup over the last decade.

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.