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Quality of life indicators in North Carolina: Geographic differences between urban and rural counties

  • Year: 2011
  • Author: James, Sakika Mitchell
  • Journal Name: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Published Location: United States -- North Carolina
  • ISBN: 9781124878133
  • Country: United States
  • State/Region: North Carolina

The purpose of this research is to compare the quality of life of North Carolina's urban and rural counties based on traditional measurable variables, and to analyze how regional development has enhanced both quality of life and economic development in both urban and rural counties. Labor and employment, educational attainment, health and wellness and population and demographic variables are used to rank all 100 counties and a comparison of means are gathered to articulate the quality of life differences in urban and rural counties. A questionnaire sent to professional county level officials and the latest available annual reports for all seven of the state appointed economic development partnerships provide the data to analyze the impact regional development has on quality of life for urban and rural counties.

The results indicate that North Carolina's urban counties rank higher than rural counties in all the indicators used with the exception of those with a negative connotation and the rural counties in close proximity to urban counties rank higher than those further away and regionalism has been beneficial statewide in terms of labor/employment and education. These are the two quality of life issues most important to citizens, and most addressed as seen in each region's annual report. These results indicate that regional collaboration can help rural counties increase quality of life indicators and collaboration can help improve economic development statewide.

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