A recent study of census figures shows that the Danville area, near the North Carolina border, is the least wealthy area in the country. The ravages of the poor economy for years have take their toll on this entire area.
This study by the Commonwealth shows many of the problems facing Danville. (These studies are available for any area or political subdivision) Companies going out of business, going elsewhere, including overseas. The unemployment problem is protracted and dangerous.
Researchers from the U.S. Census Bureau say barely more than one percent of people in Danville bring home an income of $191,500 or more. This number is based on the top five percent of household incomes from 2007-2011 and the number of homes in each county. It’s one of two metropolitan areas in the country with the least concentration of rich people.
Both are rural; Danville, Virginia, and ironically Danville, Illinois.
At the other end of the spectrum are the suburbs of New York City with nearly 18 percent of rich households, proving that more wealthy people live near high populated areas.
This is how communities die. As I have said before, we can’t afford to be excited about 43 or 152 jobs, although that would be great. We need a giant business, like the textiles used to be. One that will hire 450 people at a time. These communities need long term help, more than they are getting right now.