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Abstract

This paper examines trends in the socioeconomic well-being in rural counties where Black residents represent one third or more of the population. These racially diverse rural counties (RDRCs) are located exclusively in the rural South and generally have low levels of economic well-being. On a positive note, college education levels in RDRCs are found to have increased rapidly between 1990 and 2000. Regression analysis suggests that these increases were in part due to the concentration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the region. Local investments in K-12 education are also found to be linked to county education levels.

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