New methodology by Emporia State Economic Index improves Lyon County poverty rate, ranking Featured

New methodology by Emporia State Economic Index improves Lyon County poverty rate, ranking Emporia State University graphic

A new methodology from the Emporia State Economic Index changes the poverty picture for counties hosting Regents universities, including Lyon County.


Essentially by taking college students of any level entirely out of the equation, the report improved Lyon County's poverty rate from over 20 percent to around 16 percent. The county's overall poverty ranking also climbed from 101st to 91st, and all counties with Regents universities saw improvements.

The study, written by Dr. Marc Fusaro and Tami Schaefer of Emporia State's School of Business and Center for Business and Economic Development, uses the premise that students have access to funds, including scholarships and grants, that people in poverty don't have available.

Meanwhile, the monthly ESEI update showed modest year-to-year growth for Kansas from the end of 2017 to the close of 2018.

Economic growth in the December update was listed as 2.46 percent for the year over December 2017, although the monthly growth rate between November and December was listed as barely negative.

For annual growth, ESEI puts Kansas near the top of the pack when compared to neighboring states -- trailing only Oklahoma, which had a 3-percent growth rate. The only other regional states with annual growth were Missouri at 1.5 percent and Arkansas at 1.13 percent. Nebraska (-1.39 percent), Colorado (-2.4 percent) and Iowa (-3.35 percent) all had negative growth rates.

The ESEI index was listed as 131.22.

More information is online at www.emporia.edu/esei

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Last modified on Friday, 08 February 2019 10:34