David Peters, associate professor of sociology, is the sole author of a study titled, “Community Resiliency in Declining Small Towns: Impact of Population on Quality of Life over 20 Years,” published in the Jan. 1, 2019, online edition of Rural Sociology.
In this paper, Peters seeks to understand why some small towns have an improved quality of life (QoL) over the past 20 years despite sizable population losses. He uses a longitudinal data set of small Iowa towns — collected every 10 years since 1994 — to measure the towns’ resiliency or vulnerability based on QoL changes. Peters then creates a model depicting the towns’ declining and/or improving socioeconomic status. He concludes the paper by discussing local strategies to promote resiliency and QoL.