Archive

March 22, 2011
The short essay here appears on the New York Times Room For Debate webpage. It comes from Patchwork Nation Director Dante Chinni and was one of seven responses to the question: Why do Americans seem unperturbed about the growing gap between the rich and the poor? Please stop by the Times'...
March 18, 2011
Earlier this week, we posted a long piece looking at income inequality in America and how it has grown since 1980 using our 12 county types. We looked at those numbers, in conjunction with The Atlantic Monthly, to get a sense of how different communities have fared in the new economic world and...
March 15, 2011
-- By Dillon Kato, The University of Montana With a keen focus on attracting and maintaining businesses, Dubuque, Iowa, a one-time record unemployment area, has built a thriving economy at the tri-state intersection with Wisconsin and Illinois. In the early 1980s, Dubuque, a Campus and...
March 15, 2011
--By Daniel Viehland, The University of Montana Officials in Clinton County, Iowa, like those throughout the Emptying Nest communities of the Midwest, dreaded the results of the 2010 U.S. Census. When the numbers were finally released, their concerns were realized – the county’s...
March 14, 2011
In the debate about income inequality in America, many stories miss an important point: rising disparities are not just about investment bankers versus autoworkers. They're about entire communities of "winners" and "losers."  As we have noted with ...
March 8, 2011
Living a healthy lifestyle is not easy in the U.S.; keeping fit can be tough in the land of supersizes and never-ending pasta bowls. But the health problems aren't the same everywhere, and in a paper released Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified an area they call...
March 8, 2011
-- By Kyle Houghtaling, The University of Montana Five years ago few, if any, would have predicted that the real boom town in Nevada would be found in the sparsely populated mountains of Elko. Las Vegas and to a lesser extent Reno fueled the explosive economic growth in the state until the...
March 8, 2011
As protests continue in the Middle East, gas prices have been rising across the country. In Ann Arbor, a town filled with thousands of college students, rising prices may not have as large of as an effect on students as it does on others. Rising gas prices obviously have an effect on anyone who...
March 6, 2011
Today March Madness turned into March Sadness in the Evangelical Ozarks as the Missouri State University Bears basketball team went down to defeat at the conference tournament in St. Louis. It was a far cry from the mood just one week ago when the Bears vanquished Wichita State University in...
March 4, 2011
As the 2010 Census results start to roll out, America is beginning its decennial demographic "who are we" discussion. Are we older than 10 years ago? Are we more diverse? And where are we going -- literally -- when we move? One recent story about America's demographic fate...
March 4, 2011
-- By Joe Pavlish, The University of Montana A fully landscaped front yard and a fenced back yard surround 17445 Georgetown Drive two miles outside of Reno, Nevada. The three-bedroom, two-bath home sold for $123,900 the year it was built in 2002, but now it is listed at a different price: $101,...
March 4, 2011
-- By Sarah Ena, The University of Montana Browns Ferry Elementary School is a special part of the Georgetown County school system. An overwhelmingly African American school in a county known for beachfront gated communities; it is also a school on the block to be closed due to budget cuts....
March 4, 2011
-- By Roman Stubbs, The University of Montana Gorgeous homes are for sale all across Greenville County, S.C. The districts most prominent real estate firms are currently showing hundreds of gems, from old-school colonial homes with white-pillared front porches to brand new suburban developments...
March 4, 2011
-- By AJ Mazzolini, The University of Montana After being rocked by the recent economic downturn, the Las Vegas hotel and lodging industry may have turned the corner toward recovery. Fourth quarter 2010 numbers indicated that hotel occupancy and hotel room rates -- which have been steadily...
March 4, 2011
As protesters march throughout the Middle East, forcing regime changes, they have set the oil markets into a panic. On Feb. 1, crude oil futures were trading at just under $75 a barrel. By Feb. 28, they were trading at just under $100. Those numbers aren't bad if you are, say, a speculator...
February 25, 2011
-- By Piper Haugan, The University of Montana On the wall of the finance office in Dubuque’s 150-year-old City Hall hangs a plaque commemorating the excellence of the city’s 2010 comprehensive annual financial report. Other identical awards -- 21 years’ worth of them -- sit in...
February 25, 2011
-- By Robin Gustafson and Paige Huntoon, The University of Montana If you ask someone in Scott County, Iowa whether they are Republican or Democratic, you are not likely to receive a quick response.  Although there are many in this county that sits on the western bank of the Mississippi...
February 25, 2011
-- By Samantha Abel, University of Montana Sioux Center, Iowa may not be a very big community, but unlike many of the Tractor Country counties Patchwork Nation has been following for the last few years, it is growing. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, which was released early February, Sioux...
February 25, 2011
What started in Wisconsin as a budget fight about the wages and bargaining power of public-sector unions has grown into a national fight as protests have spilled over into other states including Ohio, Indiana, Rhode Islandand Colorado. And in the process, the fights have grown...
February 25, 2011
-- By Michael Beall, University of Montana On the northern most edge of the Washington-Boston megalopolis, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire forces GOP presidential hopefuls to grapple with a complicated electorate made up of suburban voters used to a high standard of living and job security...