Inflation Impacts on Rural Households in the U.S. 2020–2022

David J. Peters
February 2023  [23-SR 122]

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Peters, D.J. 2023. "Inflation Impacts on Rural Households in the U.S. 2020–2022." Staff report 23-SR 122. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


This publication summarizes inflation trends for rural households in the U.S., as well as comparisons with urban households. Consumer price inflation is estimated to have cost rural households an extra $2,625 in 2021, plus an additional $5,495 in 2022. Taken together, inflation over the past two years has taken a $8,120 bite out of rural household incomes. While transportation costs fueled rural inflation over the past two years, during 2022 rural people also had to contend with growing costs for housing, household expenses, food at home, and health insurance. At present, rural and urban inflation are at parity, being no better nor worse than the other. If current trends continue, inflation in 2023 will likely have a more negative impact on urban people and places in the U.S.