Households with small children headed by single persons may be hard-pressed to attend meetings scheduled in the evenings or at other times of the day. Householders who move frequently across county or state lines may be difficult to target - and also may not see much value in place-based Extension programming. Likewise, predominantly renter-occupied housing units tend to have more of a transient nature, and homeowners may have more attachment to their community and their neighbors than do renters.

Another indicator is the percent of county-population that commutes outside the county to the place of work. The longer the commute, the less time available for other activities, including participation in Extension meetings and other forms of civic engagement. The Census reports the average time spent commuting, as well as the percent of population that works outside the county of residence.

The Center for Rural PA reports the number of clients (in total and per 1,000 population) receiving Homelessness Assistance, 2000-01, using data from the PA Department of Aging.

One variable that has generated a considerable amount of interest recently is the percent of children that are being raised by their grandparents. The share has increased noticeably between the 1990 and 2000 Census years. This may have implications for how information should be delivered, and what types of (child raising) information is most valuable.

Key variables

  • Occupied housing units; renter
  • Native population - percent born in state of residence
  • Population 5 years and over - percent who lived in different house in 1995; total; and lived in same state; and lived in different state or abroad
  • Population 16 years and over - percent in labor force; female with own children under 6 years
  • Own children - percent with all parents in family labor force
  • Workers 16 years and over - percent using public transportation
  • Workers 16 years and over - who did not work at home - mean travel time to work (minutes)
  • Workers 16 years and over - percent worked outside of county of residence.
  • Grandparents as Caregivers (grandparent living in household with one or more own grandchildren under 18 years)

Quick Table (where to find the data):
Social Characteristics: Education, Ancestry, Language and more

Geographic Comparison Table (where to find the data):
Employment Status and Commuting to Work