Housing in Rural America: A Historical Look Back

Housing in Rural America is an online exhibit containing items from the National Agricultural Library (NAL) collections. Using NAL Special Collections, Digital Collections, and the General Collection, a snapshot of housing types, plans, programs, policies, and trends in rural America is provided. Through time, housing has been considered an expression of quality-of-life.

Rural housing has traditionally lagged urban housing in quality and amenities, but the gap narrowed considerably from 1930 to 1980. In 1980, the median rural home was newer than the median urban home and had more rooms and fewer occupants.

Rural and Urban Housing, 1930-80. By Ronald E. Kampe and Gail D. Roman. Agriculture and Rural Economy Division, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Staff Report No. AGES871210. See Full report under Rural Housing, Policy, Programs, and Trends.