Friday, December 14, 2012

Gas boom boosts rural income, but not all benefit; in 3 Ky. counties government provides more than half

The nation's oil and gas boom is driving up income so fast in a few hundred small towns and rural areas that it's shifting prosperity to the heartland, according to USA Today, which looked at federal Bureau of Economic Analysis data. Inflation-adjusted income is up 3.8 percent per person since 2007 for the 51 million Americans in small cities, towns and rural areas, versus 1.8 percent in urban areas, Dennis Cauchon and Paul Overberg report. Credit the energy boom -- mainly hydraulic fracturing -- and some temporarily strong farm prices for the rural windfall.

The analysis also revealed that Owsley, McCreary and Wolfe counties in Kentucky are the only places in the nation that rely on government programs such as Social Security, food stamps and Medicaid for more than half of their income. (Read more)

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