Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mapping our economic challenges

Kentucky economic difficulties --unemployment, low incomes, low-tech jobs-- are summarized in this Education Needs Index map (with the larger original here.) Comparing our thirty Census "microdata areas" to similar areas across the country:
  • In green, two Jefferson County areas rank in the top quarter of the nation.
  • In yellow, the nearby counties running north to Kenton and Campbell and the outer part of Fayette County are in the second strongest quarter of such areas nationally.
  • In orange, Central Lexington, the areas around Georgetown and Elizabethtown and the areas from Bowling Green west along the southern border are in the next-to-bottom quarter.
  • In red, half the state's microdata areas (the rest of Jefferson, our eastern and southcentral counties, and western areas that include Owensboro and Henderson) are in the weakest group.
To build a stronger Kentucky, we need to see both our statewide problems and these regional variations clearly.

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!