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Old 11-30-2014, 01:55 AM
 
Location: Sandpoint, ID
3,109 posts, read 10,845,792 times
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http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/up...abt=0002&abg=1
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:06 AM
 
3,782 posts, read 4,256,347 times
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Interesting. Seems, except for a few years, I always live in the light blue areas. I did a six month assignment in Hardin KY and surrounding areas, and have to say most of the people I met, who got over a few facts (such as Yankee, intruder and a few others), were some of the friendliest people I have ever met. However, you could see the poverty in that area was devastating.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:00 AM
 
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Interesting that Bonner Ct is "blue," while Boundary Ct is "red." Not all that surprising, I guess. (The colors are not political! For those of you who haven't clicked on the map yet! )
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:50 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
2,395 posts, read 3,016,377 times
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Interesting perspective ....

I'd like to know how they combined the data to arrive at their rankings. It seems the most variation is found in income, percent with a college education, and unemployment. Variations of the other variables are much smaller.

For example, for the data for the north Idaho counties, all in the order of Kootenai, Bonner, Boundary (I wish for better formatting capabilities )

Rank: 719, 1297, 1795
Avg Income: $49.1k, $41.4k, $36.3k
College Degree: 23.8%, 21.5%, 14.2%
Unemployment: 8.4%, 9.9%, 10%
Disability: 1%, 1.2%, 1.2%
Life Expectancy: 79.2, 78.7, 78.7
Obesity: 32%, 31%, 35%

I question how many of these parameters are really independent variables. There is certainly a strong correlation between life expectancy and obesity, and a pretty strong correlation between income and life expectancy. There is obviously a correlation between average income and the percent of a population with a college degree, but there may be other factors that come into play there.

They do indicate that to some extent the variables were chosen based on their availability for all counties in the U.S., which is not a good basis for data selection.

Dave

Last edited by Cnynrat; 11-30-2014 at 09:03 AM..
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Dayton, OH
41 posts, read 80,927 times
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I would like to see income weighted against cost of living. Dollars are certainly not the same everywhere.
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
29,219 posts, read 22,400,905 times
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The devil is in the variables, for sure, Dave.

There are a lot of independent factors that could skew statistics that may be present in Idaho, but not so much as in other states.
Subsistance farming is an example.While Idaho isn't unique, it's relatively easier here to live on a subsistence level with a little acreage as it is elsewhere. One hidden variable is the soil; another is in the price of the soil. f5 mentioned Kentucky; while the soil there may be as cheap as it is here, it may be far less fertile. The differences in geography alone could make a big difference as well.

City dwellers also can live at subsistence levels, but subsistence in a city is vastly different than rural subsistence. That's another big hidden variable. It would be next to impossible for a S. Californian to live a subsistent lifestyle due to many factors that aren't easily understood, while it would be relatively easy for a N. Californian to do it.

Still another is someone who is living at this level may be dong so by choice. Such a person could have an advanced degree or only an elementary education and still do fine either way. They may be chronically unemployed statistically, but may not require much in monetary income to get by.

Another independent variable here is the large presence of a church that operates at a tight unit socially and religiously, from the top down, and has a long history of taking care of it's members. The LDS in Idaho can confound all the variables on your list with the way they do things.

Still another is our climate. Slight obesity in a cold climate is a biological advantage for a rural person. The same degree of obesity can be a massive disadvantage in city living.

It is not uncommon here to see folks who are fat, under-employed, have no education much, nor much income, and have bad hearing or rheumatism to live long contented lives. My fat old Granny lived over 17 years longer than her skinny husband, and he died at 81. In their prime, they did quite well, but by the time my Grandmother died, she had out-lived her retirement, and fell into the bottom of all those categories you listed. At age 97. The most uncommon thing about her life was she finally got her college degree, a lifelong desire of hers, at age 67.

I think that if many were asked, they would prefer a shorter life with all their faculties than a long life of nothing but gradual loss of everything they enjoyed most.

A city person may well want a longer life, not matter what's lost. Cities have abundance that isn't found in the country, and the country has different abundance that isn't found in the cities.

Maybe the New York Times should have added a few parameters, like frustration, contentment, general level of happiness, general expectations for a life, etc. But all those are very hard to quantify objectively. An Idahoan who never leaves Idaho will never know what it's like to live in a big city and vice versa. If asked, either person will answer truthfully, but knows nothing in comparison to any condition but their own.
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:13 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
2,395 posts, read 3,016,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioOutrun View Post
I would like to see income weighted against cost of living. Dollars are certainly not the same everywhere.
I agree - probably some form of a ratio of average income to cost of living would be much more meaningful. Living in the land of crazy housing prices (SoCal) I think a ratio of the median home value to average income would be interesting. I can't figure out how the majority of young people can get started in SoCal and ever buy a home.


Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
The devil is in the variables, for sure, Dave.

There are a lot of independent factors that could skew statistics that may be present in Idaho, but not so much as in other states.

Subsistance farming is an example.While Idaho isn't unique, it's relatively easier here to live on a subsistence level with a little acreage as it is elsewhere. One hidden variable is the soil; another is in the price of the soil. f5 mentioned Kentucky; while the soil there may be as cheap as it is here, it may be far less fertile. The differences in geography alone could make a big difference as well.

City dwellers also can live at subsistence levels, but subsistence in a city is vastly different than rural subsistence. That's another big hidden variable. It would be next to impossible for a S. Californian to live a subsistent lifestyle due to many factors that aren't easily understood, while it would be relatively easy for a N. Californian to do it.

Still another is someone who is living at this level may be dong so by choice. Such a person could have an advanced degree or only an elementary education and still do fine either way. They may be chronically unemployed statistically, but may not require much in monetary income to get by.

Another independent variable here is the large presence of a church that operates at a tight unit socially and religiously, from the top down, and has a long history of taking care of it's members. The LDS in Idaho can confound all the variables on your list with the way they do things.

Still another is our climate. Slight obesity in a cold climate is a biological advantage for a rural person. The same degree of obesity can be a massive disadvantage in city living.

It is not uncommon here to see folks who are fat, under-employed, have no education much, nor much income, and have bad hearing or rheumatism to live long contented lives. My fat old Granny lived over 17 years longer than her skinny husband, and he died at 81. In their prime, they did quite well, but by the time my Grandmother died, she had out-lived her retirement, and fell into the bottom of all those categories you listed. At age 97. The most uncommon thing about her life was she finally got her college degree, a lifelong desire of hers, at age 67.

I think that if many were asked, they would prefer a shorter life with all their faculties than a long life of nothing but gradual loss of everything they enjoyed most.

A city person may well want a longer life, not matter what's lost. Cities have abundance that isn't found in the country, and the country has different abundance that isn't found in the cities.

Maybe the New York Times should have added a few parameters, like frustration, contentment, general level of happiness, general expectations for a life, etc. But all those are very hard to quantify objectively. An Idahoan who never leaves Idaho will never know what it's like to live in a big city and vice versa. If asked, either person will answer truthfully, but knows nothing in comparison to any condition but their own.
Great points Mike. Much of what you talk about here comes down to the questions about what makes one happy or satisfied with their life, and that is probably much more meaningful than whether life is hard or easy in any given locale.

Orange County CA ranks close to the top (100), and my own perspective is that over the past 35 years it's become harder to be really happy with the quality of life here. Of course, that's just my perspective, and I'm sure there are many folks who are happy to live here.

Dave
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:03 PM
 
186 posts, read 240,298 times
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Can anybody provide some insight about the cost of living in Boise versus Coeur D'Alene?
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:24 PM
 
1,871 posts, read 2,100,286 times
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I looked at this map to compare where I grew up and where I have lived since. I grew up in a hard area which I believe and lived in two areas that were darker green and now in an area that is considered hard. Quite an interesting map to compare.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
29,219 posts, read 22,400,905 times
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I'm always amused at maps like this.
There is a big diagonal band of the center odor running through idaho from the Oregon border on the west downward to the Montana border on the east. There are only 3 counties in all that area; Idaho county, with Grangville as the county seat, Lemhi county, with Salmon as the county seat, and Clark, with Dubois as the county seat.

Other than a few greasy spots in the road, those are the only cities in those counties, and if they were all added together, the population would only amount to 20,000 people max.

Just shows how a map may be deceiving. One would think by those county's color that they are all in trouble. They are, to varying degrees, but for reasons much different than any of the list.

Almost all that territory is taken up by the Church Wilderness which has no population at all.
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