The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) uses an index-based county economic classification system to identify and monitor the economic status of Appalachian counties. The system compares each county’s averages for three economic indicators—three-year average unemployment rate, per capita market income, and poverty rate—with national averages. The resulting values are summed and averaged to create a composite index value for each county. Higher scores represent serious levels of economic distress. Lower scores indicate more desirable economic conditions.
The following findings are noted:
- Among U.S. States, Ohio scored in the middle range of economic distress for both 2009 (rank = 32) and 2019 (rank = 33).
- In 2009, Delaware, Geauga, and Warren were the three least economically distressed Ohio Counties. During that same period, Meigs, Morgan, and Vinton Counties were the most distressed. Appalachian Ohio Counties were significantly more likely to be rated distressed than their non-Appalachian Counterparts.
- In 2019, Delaware, Warren, and Geauga Counties were the least distressed and Monroe, Adams and Meigs were the most distressed. Once again, Appalachian counties were significantly more likely to exhibit high levels of economic distress than their non-Appalachian counterparts.
- A comparison of change in economic distress shows that while economic distress remains higher throughout the Appalachian Ohio, the region also recorded greater improvement than the aggregate of remaining Ohio Counties
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