Amenity communities face unique challenges from waves of tourists and new residents. Proactive planning can help avoid being loved to death.
The Outdoor Recreation Economy by State
The outdoor recreation economy is large, growing faster than the overall economy, and consists of jobs in many industries. Explore data by state.
The American Community Survey in our data tools
Find the latest American Community Survey data in all of our tools, including the Economic Profile System and Neighborhoods at Risk.
Economic Impact of National Parks
Millions of national park visitors generate economic opportunities for gateway communities, spending money that creates jobs and income. See the trends for every national park service unit.
Housing costs broke records across the U.S.
Unaffordable housing came to a head during the pandemic as communities across the country saw unprecedented rises in housing costs.
Unaffordability for renters made worse during the pandemic
The unprecedented rise in housing prices since 2020 has affected renters more than homeowners—especially in places that were already unaffordable.
Is rural America really doing so badly?
Nearly half of rural communities have grown so much since the 1970s they are now classified as “urban.” Those that remain are diverse, but often have more specialized economies.
Fiscal policy is failing rural America
State and federal fiscal policies hurt rural communities by limiting how local governments can grow, diversify, and invest revenue.
Montana wildfire risk is widespread and growing
The number of western Montana homes in areas with high wildfire hazard has doubled, outpacing development rates in areas with low wildfire hazard.
Explore COVID-19 unemployment by county
As U.S. jobless claims reach historic levels from the coronavirus pandemic, find the latest county-level unemployment numbers.
The Changing Geography of U.S. Electricity Generation
Most U.S. states are adding electricity generation capacity faster than capacity is being retired. Renewable energy adds the most capacity in 18 states.
The Evolution of U.S. Electricity Generation Capacity
The capacity to generate electricity has transitioned from coal to natural gas to renewable energy, a trend projected to continue.
The health and fiscal vulnerability of rural recreation counties
Where rural recreation counties rely on public funding for health care, fiscal solutions should diversify the ways local governments can save and spend.
Tension as Catalyst: Public Lands and the Rural West
View a presentation given at the Our America’s Rural Opportunity forum about the context of public lands and the rural west.
Solutions for Transitioning Coal-Dependent Communities
The most effective fiscal policies for communities facing transition away from coal dependency are those that build wealth over time and strengthen community capacity.
The Value of Montana’s Outdoors
Montana’s outdoors attracts people and talent, creating jobs and a high quality of life. The outdoors is essential to the state’s future economic growth.
Funding Needs for Montana’s Outdoor Heritage
Funding for Montana’s working lands, wildlife, and outdoor recreation is not keeping pace as population, visitation, and development pressures expand.
Getting Real About Rural Resilience
Rural and isolated communities face wrenching economic and demographic transitions. A solution to uncertainty is to focus on resilience.
Trails Research and Searchable Benefits Library
Updated: Headwaters Economics compiled 144 trails research studies on the impacts of trails in a single library, searchable by type of benefit, use, year, and region.
High County GDP No Guarantee of Growth
High worker productivity occurs across diverse counties and sectors but is not always connected with population growth and opportunity.