Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nebraska's rural counties shake off recession, though they are still far from affluent

This story in the Lincoln (Nebraska) Journal Star last week-end reports that the economic profiles of several of Nebraska's poorest counties--sparsely populated rural ones, of course--have improved in the last decade, at least relative to other counties. Here's an excerpt:
A decade ago, the per capita income in Blaine County ranked second from the bottom among all 3,110 counties in the United States.

It was one of seven Nebraska counties in the bottom 12.

But now Blaine County -- about 150 miles north of Grand Island and home only to Uncle Buck's Lodge at Brewster and a handful of other retail businesses -- has climbed to the top half of the per-capita list at No. 1,384.

All six of the seven Nebraska counties, except McPherson, escaped the dubious, bottom-of-the-barrel distinction in the 2008 rankings, the most recent available from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Blaine County, population 583, is in central/north central Nebraska. McPherson County, population 533, is in the central/west central part of the state. The photos of the respective county courthouses, in Brewster and Tyron, respectively, are shown at the wikipedia links for the counties. The one in Brewster (population 29)looks old; the one in Tyron (population 90), new-ish, but about the size of an average ranch-style home.

For more recent demographic and economic data on Blaine County, click here.

For more recent data on McPherson County, click here.

Read the rest of the Lincoln JournalStar story here.

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