In this brief, authors Beth Mattingly and Jess Carson explore how rural residents’ efforts to make ends meet are shaped by the economic and population characteristics of their communities. The authors use qualitative data from interviews and focus groups with low-income residents and social service providers in two rural New England communities to understand strategies for making ends meet in rural places. Although one county draws wealthy retirees, and the other is remote and losing population, low-income workers in both communities struggle to make ends meet. The authors find that rural residents often work multiple formal or informal jobs, and that the nature of work varies by residents’ local economic and geographic contexts.


Carsey School of Public Policy

Publication Date

Summer 8-13-2019


National Issue Brief No. 143


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy

Document Type



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