Excerpts from the report Preface and Introduction: The present report is an initial contribution of the Economic Development Division to these missions. It analyzes rural America from a number of viewpoints--size and characteristics of rural population, well-being, ways of life and making a living, troubled areas, current economic changes, and prospects. Planning for the economic development of the rural part of American society is a major theme. This publication aims to contribute to an understanding of the varied and changing face of rural America. It is concerned with factors affecting the participation of rural people in the Nation's development, emphasizing considerations important to the future of rural America.