Date of this Version
Business in Nebraska vol. 56, no. 659
Over the past 30 years, there has been a major shift in the location of low per capita personal income counties within the U. S. Thirty years ago, poverty was primarily associated with the southeast states. In the period from 1969 to 1973, 76 percent of the nation's low per capita personal income counties were in the Bureau of Economic Analysis (SEA) Southeast region1.
From the initial period until the most recent five-year period, 1994-1998, there was a major shift in U.S. counties in the lowest quintile of per capita personal income (Figure 1). The net movement was 164 counties and the lion's share (95) went from the Southeast to the Great Plains. The Great Plains now has 184ofthe622 U.S. counties in the lowest quintile.
In the 1994-1998 period, there were 17 Nebraska counties in the lowest quintile of per capita personal income. Most were ranching counties in the Sandhills, Since cattle prices have improved from the 1994·1998 period, it is likely that these ranching counties will work their way off the list of lowest per capita personal income counties. However, there is concern that some other Nebraska counties may replace them.