Here Are The Easiest And Most Difficult U.S. Counties To Live In. Prepare To Be Very Surprised…

So, The New York Times’ The Upshot┬áhas done an interesting ranking of the U.S. counties — by the easiness, or lack thereof, of living in them. To do so, the authors have looked at six factors: education (share of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree), median household income, unemployment rate, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity. They then proceeded to average each county’s relative rank in each category to create an overall ranking.

It turned out that six of the most difficult U.S. counties to live in were located in Kentucky. Here are the top-ten most difficult U.S. counties to live in: Clay County, Kentucky; Jackson County, Kentucky; Leslie County, Kentucky; Lee County, Kentucky; Humphreys County, Mississippi; East Carroll Parish, Louisiana; Breathitt County, Kentucky; Magoffin County, Kentucky; Jefferson County, Georgia; and Lee County, Arkansas.

As Annie Lowrie, writing for the New York Times’ magazine, put it:

Clay County, in dead last, might as well be in a different country.

Clay County’s median household income, we learn, is $22,296. The county’s unemployment rate is 12.7 percent and it has a 45 percent obesity rate, 11.7 percent disability rate, and life expectancy of 71.4 years. That’s not good.

1. Clay County, Kentucky, pictured, is the most difficult US county to live in, according to the New York Times’ analysis.

Here Are The Easiest And Most Difficult U.S. Counties To Live In. Prepare To Be Very Surprised...

2. Clay County’s average life expectancy is just 71.4 years.

Here Are The Easiest And Most Difficult U.S. Counties To Live In. Prepare To Be Very Surprised...

3. An interactive map ranks the hardest places to live in the United States based on education (percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree), median household income, unemployment rate, life expectancy and obesity.

Here Are The Easiest And Most Difficult U.S. Counties To Live In. Prepare To Be Very Surprised...

4. Los Alamos Country in New Mexico took top spot, with three counties in Virginia taking the next spots.

Here Are The Easiest And Most Difficult U.S. Counties To Live In. Prepare To Be Very Surprised...

5. Kentucky’s Breathitt County, pictured, has a 47% obesity rate and jobless rate of 11.9%.

Here Are The Easiest And Most Difficult U.S. Counties To Live In. Prepare To Be Very Surprised...

6. The New York Times has published a composite ranking of the U.S> counties where residents are healthy and wealthy or struggling.

Here Are The Easiest And Most Difficult U.S. Counties To Live In. Prepare To Be Very Surprised...

7. Clay County is the most difficult one to live in among all U.S. counties.

Here Are The Easiest And Most Difficult U.S. Counties To Live In. Prepare To Be Very Surprised...

Read more: Where Are the Hardest Places to Live in the U.S.?, What’s the Matter With Eastern Kentucky?, More on How We Chose the Hardest Places to Live

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