Agricultural Economics Department



Richard K. Perrin

Date of this Version



Published in Cornhusker Economics, 10/20/2004. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


“Five Nebraska counties are among the nation's poorest 12 counties" (Lincoln Journal Star, July 18, 2004) Y" 'Some of the bigger ranchers here, they didn't like it at all being called the poorest,' said Van Diest, 68, (Loup County Commissioner, Wade) adding that he's been puzzled by how Loup County got the No.1 ranking." (Omaha World Herald, July 17, 2004). These comments were typical of those in response to a federal report released in July, 2004. Some people are indignant, others are puzzled. Which areas of Nebraska really are the poorest, how poor are they, and why? A clear understanding of these questions is important in considering policies to assist poor areas, yet even the basic poverty indicators seem to be in conflict.