Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The US heartland has had the strongest income growth since the 1980s. Yes, you read that right.

The Boston Globe reports:
If you think of America as a divided nation, with the coastal cities thriving and the vast middle struggling, it might be time to stop.

The heartland has its own high-performing hubs of economic growth. In fact, since 1980, the counties with the biggest income gains lie mostly in the vast middle, including a spring of success across the South and another running up the central corridor, from Texas to the Dakotas.

What’s behind the gains of interior America? Oil, gas, and the fracking boom have played a part, but not the only part. Just as important are geographic shifts that have brought manufacturing jobs to the plains and service jobs to the Gulf of Mexico.

And there’s a political implication as well. Once you recognize the forgotten economic strength of flyover country, it’s harder to accept the conventional wisdom that ties President Trump’s electoral appeal to long-term economic stagnation. County by county, there is no meaningful relationship between income growth and Trump support.

To get a fuller sense of what’s going on, it helps to look at a map, one that shows the increase in per capita income in each US county between 1980 and 2015.

Growth is clustered in regions, rather than dotted across individual spots. The highest gains are in the eastern plains, making Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and the Dakotas the surprise economic champions of the last generation. Close behind are Western Texas, New England, and a ring of counties in the South.
An article , well worth your time.