This study, commissioned by the Appalachian Regional Commission, analyzes 50 years of socioeconomic trends, including poverty, income disparity, unemployment, employment change, population change, economic and industry mix, educational attainment, housing quality, health, transportation access, and telecommunications capacity in the Appalachian Region and summarizes the economic impacts accruing to the Region through ARCís non-highway investments. The report also includes results from a rigorous quasi-experimental research method indicating that counties that received ARC investments increased per capita income and added employment at a faster rate than similar counties that did not receive ARC investments. The report also summarizes input gathered from stakeholders in focus group meetings held in each of the 13 Appalachian states.
The study comprises three documents: an executive summary, which summarizes the findings, metrics, and methodology of the study; a technical report which provides more detail about the socioeconomic trends, the economic impact study and the quasi-experimental research method; and a state meetings report, which provides summaries from each of the state focus groups.
The study's companion Web site also includes key findings.Appalachia Then and Now: Complete Study (PDF: 12 MB)