Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version

February 2007


Published in Cornhusker Economics, 02/21/2007. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Economic development is a priority for nearly all Nebraska communities. However, development is often confused with economic growth. Economic development entails “sustained progressive change to attain individual and group interests through the expanded, intensified and adjusted use of resources,” where “human welfare is the end product of the development process.”1 How do you measure such a value-laden and multifaceted concept to know whether development efforts have been successful? While there is no single answer to this question, one common and relatively easy method is to look at community poverty rates over time.