In May and June of 2007, Carsey Institute researchers surveyed 1,000 randomly selected respondents from Kentucky’s Harlan and Letcher counties, and between November 2010 and January 2011, they returned to survey 1,020 different randomly selected respondents from the same counties. These two Kentucky counties provide a snapshot of perceptions of community and environmental change in a chronically poor rural place. This brief focuses on the questions asked in both surveys to identify area wide (Harlan and Letcher counties combined) changes since the Great Recession. The surveys reveal that the recession has exacerbated concern about many community-level problems including poverty, affordable housing, sprawl, and a lack of recreational opportunities. Southeastern Kentuckians’ views regarding how environmental resources should be used have also changed. As the demand for jobs has increased, Harlan and Letcher county residents are more likely to believe that natural resources should be used for economic development rather than conserved for the future. Optimism about the future is unchanged despite growing financial instability during the recession.
Durham, N.H. : Carsey Institute, University of New Hampshire
Ulrich, Jessica D., "Southeastern Kentuckians remain optimistic through Great Recession: growing concerns about sprawl, housing, and recreational opportunities" (2011). The Carsey School of Public Policy at the Scholars' Repository. 145.
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