The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) started a project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Thrive Rural Initiative meant to leverage data to shift the public’s view of rural America. Titled the Rural Aperture Project, this multi-story series seeks to reframe how rural communities are defined, focusing on dispelling the notion that rural America only consists of predominantly white, low-income communities to bring attention to racial and economic equity issues. CORI has partnered with MDC, an organization that collects economic and demographic data across the South, to publish narratives and data visualizations that create a more accurate portrayal of rural communities. The series of stories is intended to serve as a resource of up-to-date data for those advancing rural prosperity to guide how they tell stories, conduct research, develop policy and much more. 


Rural Aperture Project Data Stories 

  1. Defining Rural America: The different federal definitions of “rural” and their implications 
  2. Who Lives in Rural America?: The reality of who lives in rural America and the diversity of its communities  
  3. Not yet released 
  4. Not yet released 


More details about the Rural Aperture Project can be found on CORI’s website. The two unreleased stories will be posted on the website in the coming months. There is also an option to subscribe for updates on this project.  


Author: Emily Bell, Intern, GHEA