Anastasia R. Snyder of Ohio State and Diane K. McLaughlin of Penn State conducted the study using 2006 Current Population Survey data. They find that education is a key factor, with high school dropouts being three times more likely to be idle — in both rural and urban areas — than those who earned a diploma.
The rates of idleness also are high among racial-ethnic minorities in rural areas:
- 17 percent of rural blacks are idle (14 percent of urban blacks are idle)
- 19 percent of rural Hispanics (15 percent of urban Hispanics)
- 23 percent of "other" rural racial groups, such as American Indians (10 percent in urban areas)