County ranks not too bad

LISBON – Columbiana County ranked in the bottom 25 percent of the hardest places to live, according to a recent study in The New York Times Magazine.

The county came in 2,331 out of 3,135 counties in the United States.

The magazine used six factors in its formula to rank counties in terms of hardest places to live: median income, percentage of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree, unemployment rate, number of residents receiving federal disability benefits, average life expectancy and obesity rate.

Following are the county figures for those categories at the time of the study:

– Median income, $41,870

– College graduate, 13 percent

– Unemployment, 8 percent (it has since declined to 5.9 percent)

– Disability, 2 percent

– Life expectancy, 77.2 years

– Obesity rate, 41 percent

Of the six adjoining counties, four – Mahoning, Stark, Carroll and Beaver, Pa.- fared better than Columbiana County, and two were ranked worse – Jefferson and Hancock, W.Va..

Following are those counties and their rankings: Mahoning, 1,882; Stark, 1,545; Carroll, 2,070; Beaver, 1,618; Jefferson, 2,677; Hancock, 2,380.

The worst county in Ohio, according to the magazine, is Adams County in the southern part of the state, which ranked 2,982 in the country, with a median income of $34,282 and 10.7 percent of its residents having a college degree.

The Ohio county that fared the best is Delaware County, just north of Columbus, at 15th. It has a median income of $90,499 and 49.8 percent of its workers have a college degree.

Of the 10 worst counties, six are in eastern Kentucky, while the others are in parts of Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia and Arkansas. Six of the 10 best-rated counties are in the suburbs around Washington, D.C.