Russell County classified as distressed county by Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has designated Russell County as a distressed county for fiscal year 2024, according to the map released by the organization last week.

Last fiscal year, Russell County was designated as an at-risk county.

Every year, ARC applies an index-based classification system to compare each county in the Region with national averages to understand how counties are performing.

Analyzing three-year average unemployment rates, per capita market income, and poverty rates, each one of Appalachia’s 423 counties in their 13 state region is then classified within one of five economic status designations—distressed, at-risk, transitional, competitive, or attainment.

Russell County had a three-year average unemployment rate of 6.3 percent, a per-capita market income of about $26,300, and a poverty rate of 23 percent.

Looking at the area, Casey, Clinton, and Wayne counties were designated as distressed, while Pulaski, Adair, and Cumberland were designated at-risk.


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Zac Oakes is the News and Sports Director for and Laker Country WJRS 104.9 FM.