Thursday, December 17, 2015

County-level map shows more than 82% of rural counties at or below national income average

Only 17.5 percent of rural counties had average personal incomes above the 2014 national average, with most of the counties located in the Great Plains states and Alaska, according to a county-level map, Bill Bishop reports for the Daily Yonder. The map was created using data from the Bureau of Economic Affairs, which counts income as wages, rents, royalties from oil and gas production, transfer payments from Social Security or welfare, interest and capital gains.

The average income in 2014 in rural counties with no towns with more than 10,000 residents was $36,151, Bishop writes. By comparison, the average income in urban areas was $47,566, while counties with towns between 10,000 to 50,000 people averaged $37,270. The rural county with the highest average income was Teton County, Wyoming, at $194,485, while the lowest average income was in Wheeler County, Georgia, at $15,787 in 2014. Seven of the top 10 lowest rural incomes were in Florida and Georgia, while 14 of the top 20 biggest drops in income from 2012 to 2014 were in North Dakota, where the oil boom has begun to drop off. (For an interactive version, click here)

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