This article has a great interactive map on quality of life…note the overall geographic pattern of low quality of life….comments welcome….
4 thoughts on “NYT Article on the hardest places to live in the US”
The shades of the counties of Arkansas are not surprising. Suburbs of Little Rock fair better than the city center. Life is best in the sweet corner in which we live. Out of curiosity and an innate desire to compare and contrast, I found this – http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/04/mapping-racial-diversity-by-county/361388/ – and once again I was pulled back to this – http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012/countymappurple1024.png. I only wish they were interactive, as the NYT is! Generally, racially diverse places vote for Democrats. Predominantly African American counties are the darkest shade of orange on the NYT map. These statements are based on quick comparisons. I wonder which is more helpful in seeking solutions to poverty/obesity – exploring the parallels that exist, or studying counties that defy those generalizations.
Alan Flippen is correct to disagree with Annie Lowrey’s comparison of Wayne County, MI, USA against Clay County, KY USA. Wayne County has several metropolitan areas bringing up it’s average statistics vs rural Clay. Los Alamos County, NM with the National Laboratory is a much more steady statistic to refer to. I struggle with both Flippen and Lowrey using obesity statistics to reflect a community’s quality of living. I believe this to be incorrect because back in my hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas we have one of the highest average incomes and strongest economies in the state, yet obesity is rampant. The cause of obesity is subject to different circumstances and quality of life in respect to wealth and education does not always correlate with obesity. At least not when you are comparing all of the counties of the United States. I disagree when Flippen suggests that a education in the form of a Bachelor’s Degree does not necessarily correlate to higher quality of living based on Mississippi’s stats. That is a very loaded statement considering cultural issues and the very large gap between the very rich with large incomes and college educations and the very poor that are unemployed and disabled in the South. It is difficult to not keep culture in mind when viewing these statistics because local and regional culture plays a huge part in employment, education health and economics.
I have lived close to Lee County, and I have lived in Detroit. I was on the management team for Wal-Mart in West Memphis, Ar and Auburn Hills, Mi. Do not let yourself be fooled by Auburn Hills, because the store was across the street from the Silverdome in Pontiac, Mi. I felt like West Memphis was easier to live in. The Detroit area seemed tougher for me and the people who lived there for quite sometime. I saw on PBS about the blight project in Detroit underway, and I wonder how people would react to the low cost of living in West Memphis. As far as I can remember, I never seen or witnessed mass vacancies of homes in rural Arkansas.
I think that this study is missing a very vital piece of information, crime should have been one of the factors to rate counties by. I believe the rankings might have been a bit different if this had been analyzed. Rural counties are being seen as hard places to live but are much more likely to have lower crime rates than the more urbanized counties.