Appalachian Regional CommissionSee also: List of Appalachian Regional Commission counties#Ohio
The Appalachian Regional Commission was formed in 1965 to aide economic development in the Appalachian region, which was lagging far behind the rest of the nation on most economic indicators. The Appalachian region currently defined by the Commission includes 420 counties in 13 states, including 32 counties in Ohio. The Commission gives each county one of five possible economic designations— distressed, at-risk, transitional, competitive, or attainment— with "distressed" counties being the most economically endangered and "attainment" counties being the most economically prosperous. These designations are based primarily on three indicators— three-year average unemployment rate, market income per capita, and poverty rate. In 2009, Appalachian Ohio had a three-year average unemployment rate of 8.4%, compared with 7.5% statewide and 6.6% nationwide. In 2008, Appalachian Ohio had a per capita market income of $22,294, compared with $29,344 statewide and $34,004 nationwide. In 2009, Appalachian Ohio had a poverty rate of 16%, compared to 13.6% statewide and 13.5% nationwide. Seven Ohio counties—Adams, Athens, Meigs, Morgan, Noble, Pike and Vinton—were designated "distressed", while nine—Ashtabula, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Jackson, Lawrence, Monroe, Perry and Scioto—were designated "at-risk". The remaining half of Appalachian Ohio counties were designated "transitional", meaning they lagged behind the national average on one of the three key indicators. No counties in Ohio were given the "attainment" or "competitive" designations. Athens County had Appalachian Ohio's highest poverty rating, with 32.8% of its residents living below the poverty line. Clermont had Appalachian Ohio's highest per capita income ($30,515) and Holmes had the lowest unemployment rate (5.5%). Washington County has the highest high school graduation rate (84.5%), while Holmes has the lowest (51.5%).
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