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Not familiar with this specific data, but a few years ago, the AP had a similar Economic Stress Index based on Unemployment, Bankruptcy, & Foreclosure.

Could it be that these large distressed cities tend to be surrounded by smaller towns that are doing much better, thus lowering the distress level at the county level?

Jeffrey Showman

Interesting observation. It appears as if the most distressed areas are relatively rural. Even stressed large cities are doing better than their country cousins. Would be interesting to do an overlay of urban counties/SMSAs.

Beatrice Zelenko

Interesting indeed. And maybe the reason is not economic distress, maybe the economic factors measured in this analysis are strongly influenced by other "non-economical" factors like violence/ shooting.

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