It’s no secret we are all seeing the impacts inflation is having on our everyday lives- from the increasing gas and food prices to the housing market, and even the costs needed to farm.

Iowa is known for being a rural state. We are a leader in the United States when it comes to agriculture. But this could be working against us when it comes to inflation and the cost of goods.

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David Peters, an extension rural sociologist at Iowa State University authored a study looking at the impacts inflation is having on rural households. He says that in rural areas, expenses grew faster than in urban areas.

One word: transportation. So rural households; transportation is key.

In rural areas, people have to drive further for their daily needs says Peters. This means they are spending more on fuel to get to school, work, and get groceries. He says that rural households are paying around $2,500 more on top of what they were paying two years ago.

The nature of rural economies, a lot of its farming, construction and the trades. The types of vehicles they drive are not very fuel efficient because they're larger vehicles.

Peters adds that in general rural households have seen their discretionary incomes cut in half over the past two years. This means that they are seeing half of the money left over for a financial cushion at the end of the year.

The study also looked at how inflation affects different regions in the United States. It found that coastal areas, such as the Pacific West, New England, and Middle Atlantic, where a lot of the population lives, have seen inflation at slower rates.

The cost of living is already high. So, a lot of businesses are reluctant in the northeast area to increase the price of goods because people actually might stop buying them.

Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash
Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash

Another reason for this is that the Northeast in particular isn't growing very fast in terms of population. People leave to move south and there is not as much new demand from people moving in.

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