The Geography of Need: Identifying Human Service Needs in Rural America. RUPRI Rural Human Services Panel. June 2011.

This brief begins by describing the conceptual framework for existing place-based typologies and our rationale for creating a new typology built upon a human service needs profile. We then detail our data and methods for our typology, including a discussion of the relative trade-offs in using different geographic units of analysis. We show the results of our typology both for the nation as a whole and by metropolitan county status. We document how human service needs differ significantly, in both the degree of need as well as the types of needs, in metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties. Finally, we illustrate how this framework can be used to target human service needs in geographic regions of the country.

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