Wednesday, January 21, 2015

America's poorest county: Proud Appalachians who live without running water or power in region where 40% fall below poverty line

Via Billy

Right to left, family members Ronnie Duff, Love Faith Duff, Jacob Lucas and Hope Lucas gather on the porch in Owsley County on April 20 in Booneville

It was a county formed 19 years before the Civil War.

But in the towns lying between borders in Owsley, in the coal fields of eastern Kentucky, a portrait of Americans shows a community that appears frozen in time, where many still live without water or electricity. 

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the Appalachian county has the lowest median household income in the states - a staggering 41.5 per cent of residents falling below the poverty line.

Job shortages hit the region hard due to declines in demand for coal, lumber and tobacco; and the community of 4,700 is struggling for work.

The U.S. Census Bureau considers low income roughly $45,000 a year for a family of four. In Owsley, the median household income is $19,351 - the lowest in the country outside of Puerto Rico.

More @ Daily Mail


  1. They live without water? That is some seriously targeted evolutionary adaption. They could live in the Desert just fine.

  2. ...running water is what they are living without, which means, like the Amish, they are going to a pump and doing it the old fashioned way...don't need no dang electricity here. I am so surprised that the guvmint is allowing this after all these years - wonder if they're all signed up for Obamacare?

  3. I reckon if you dont have to fork out $1200+ a year for electricity that kinda leaves a guy with less need for money. No phone no lights no refidgerator or freezer computer or tv. More money for Corn Squeezins. Might not be such a bad way to live.

    1. More money for Corn Squeezins. Might not be such a bad way to live.

      It certainly has it's benefits.

  4. Those folks will survive when the shtf!
    The way they live is pretty much the way
    my parents and a lot of my friends grew up.
    I was fortunate but we weren't much past
    that level either.

    1. & you wouldn't trade that time for anything in the world. As so many who lived on farms said of the depression: There was really nothing much different.

  5. Use to live on the moors in GB and the woman down the street lived in a thatched
    roof cottage and went across the street to the old bomb shelters to collect her
    water; cooked, heated bath water, and iron, and warmth from the big coal burning
    stove. The bedrooms upstairs must have had eight quilts on each bed. She never
    complained, just the way it was, and raised her grand daughter there also.

    1. Thanks and a great story.


      eight quilts

      Reminds me of when I would spend the night with my friend whose house only had one fireplace downstairs and we used 7 quilts. :) Maybe Northern Virginia is colder than the moors in GB. :)