In Logan, West Virginia, in central Appalachia, the decline of the coal industry has brought a population drain, rampant drug abuse, heightened poverty (cremations are up because folks can’t afford caskets) and deep resentment that fed support for Republican Donald Trump: “I don’t know what’s in his head, what his vision is for us,” said Ashley Kominar, a mother of three whose husband lost his job in the mines. “But I know he has one and that’s what counts.”

The recovery from the Great Recession has left behind a lot of rural America. The Washington-based Economic Innovation Group found that half of the new business growth over the past four years was concentrated in just 20 populous counties, and three quarters of the nation’s economically distressed ZIP codes are in rural areas.

By: Jerry Schwartz, The Associated Press

Read the full article here.

Distressed Communities Index (DCI) 

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