The Geography of Need: Identifying Human Service Needs in Rural America

Colleen Heflin, Kathleen Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Given the recent economic crisis and the accompanying funding cuts across social service programs, it is helpful to observe the geographic distribution of demographic characteristics and economic conditions that together create a human service needs profile. The authors provide a conceptual framework for a systematic analysis of county characteristics and demonstrate that rural areas of America have higher levels of needs and more complex needs than do metropolitan areas. This suggests that human service strategies that are successful in metropolitan areas may not translate well to nonmetropolitan areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-374
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Family Social Work
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • elderly
  • fertility
  • human service needs
  • poverty
  • unemployment
  • veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

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