Bureau of Business Research


Date of this Version



Business in Nebraska vol. 57, no. 664


Copyright 2002 by Bureau of Business Research, University of Nebraska.



During the past 30 years, ru ral Midwest states have put considerable effort and resources toward programs and policies to boost their economic development. However, few have experienced significant economic success. Most rural counties have not prospered in proportion to the amount of resources devoted to development.

A recent Bureau of Business Research study reviewed the economic vitality of Nebraska's 93 counties, and selected counties in Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri- 218, in all (Figure 1). The relationships between vitality, economic size, and location were analyzed. Vitality is determined by weighing several economic factors, population detenmines economic size, and location refers to a county's proximity to growth factors, such as an interstate highway or a metro area.

Counties with the Most Economic Vitality

Counties with the Least Economic Vitality