Friday, February 25, 2011

New Rural Atlas Tells Our Tale

A new on-line atlas from the US Dept of Agriculture has just been posted. It tells many figures about Pocahontas County. Here are a few:

--We had a 10.5% poverty rate in 2009.

--We were 38% employed in services; 19% in manufacturing; 13% in agriculture.

--Nearly 10% of us lack a high school diploma(see poverty rate above but don't jump to conclusions); 28% have a college diploma.

--We had 806 farms in 2007, but a quarter of them had less than $10,000 in sales.

--Only 28% of farm operators work off the farm. Only 1% sell food directly for human consumption.

The new website is a map. Roll your cursor over the county of your choice and read all about it. How does Pocahontas compare to where your relatives live? Why don't they move here?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Laurens Shrinks As Fast As County

The Laurens population fell from 1476 in the 2000 census to only 1258 this time, a drop of nearly 15%. That virtually matches the county decline of 15.6%. In the previous decade the city had declined only 5% while the county shed residents nearly twice as fast. The census reports 106 vacant housing units in Laurens, a vacancy rate of 15% Why can't we escape that number of 15%?

Havelock has 138 residents, down from 177 or 22%. Pocahontas fell 9% to 1789.

Marathon has 237 in the current census, down 22% from 2000. Albert City has 699, down only ten residents from the last census. All the 2010 numbers are at this website.

Friday, February 11, 2011

State Grows But County Shrinks

Pocahontas County shrunk by 15.6% in the last ten years. Our population dropped from 8662 to 7310. We are the fastest disappearing county in Iowa. We won that honor once before. Only seven Iowa counties have a smaller population. Meanwhile the state grew by 4%. The map shows the counties coded by rate of change with dark purple dropping by the greatest percentage and dark green increasing the greatest percentage.