Thanks to a reader for alerting me to this on Facebook! Remember, if you want me to write about something, send it my way. I make no promises, but my readers tend to send me really interesting stuff. And I am but one expat with a day job and other writing ventures.
According to a new study, Fayette County is one of the hardest places to live in the country. After measuring six data points--education (percentage of residents with at least a bachelor's degree), median household income, unemployment rate, disability rate, life expectancy, and obesity--things aren't looking so great for us.
The numbers are pretty interesting--median income of about $38,000, 14% are college educated, 9.3% are unemployed, 4.4% are on disability, and 42% are obese. The full study, as linked above, goes into more of the comparisons and such.
Interestingly, comparable counties are mostly in the south. Although for some local perspective, Westmoreland County--where my boyfriend lives--is closer to the best, and Washington County--where I live--is more in the middle. Now, I've always held the theory that people from the Nam who do get college educations or generally do pretty well for themselves ultimately leave for a better area, and so far, that's anecdotally true. My boyfriend and I both took our degrees and went to neighboring counties, while I know of others who left for different states entirely. And for a quick numbers comparison for how things go when you cross those county lines, Washington County has a median income of $53,000, 25% are college educated, 7.3% are unemployed, 1.7% are on disability, and 39% are obese. Westmoreland County has a median income of $49,000, 24.7% are college educated, 7.4% are unemployed, 1.6% are on disability, and 36% obese.
Fayettenam, maybe we can look to our neighbors for ideas on how to boost ourselves up a bit.