Changing face of rural Illinois, future implications

“A healthy farm economy needs a healthy rural economy,” said Chris Merrett, director of the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University during the Illinois Farm Bureau Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference in Springfield.


WIU-QC to Host Small Business Development Center and International Trade Center

Western Illinois University announced today (Feb. 28) that the University is expanding its Small Business Development Center (SBDC) operations, which is under the direction of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA), to the Quad Cities Riverfront campus. An International Trade Center (ITC) will also be established as part of the SBDC presence at the QC campus.


Animated map shows the best and worst states to raise your family.

Illinois ranks fourth in the nation for offering the highest median family salary.


A Complex Portrait of Rural America

New Census data show that the real differences between the city and the country may not match up with popular perception.


Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Health Information Hub provides access to selected content from our site via RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feeds. Each feed includes a headline, brief description, and a link to the full information.


Explore Visual Insights from the Distressed Communities Index, provided by the Economic Innovation Group

The Distressed Communities Index is a composite measurement of economic well-being calculated at the zip, city, county, state, and congressional district level based on 7 indicators.


Are you in the American middle class? Find out with our income calculator

About half of American adults lived in middle-income households in 2014, according to anew Pew Research Center analysis of government data. In percentage terms, 51% of adults lived in middle-income households, 29% in lower-income households and 20% in upper-income households.