A New York Times article written about the hardest places in America to live has shined a spotlight on our area again as Lincoln County has come out as the 8th BEST county to live in according to their criteria.

The poll takes into account six factors: education (percentage of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree), median household income, unemployment rate, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity. They averaged each county’s relative rank in these categories to create an overall ranking. They tried to include other factors, including income mobility and measures of environmental quality, but couldn't find data sets covering all counties in the United States.)

Several South Dakota counties came out in the top 10-percent, but Lincoln County
based on a median income of $73,000, 38% college education and a 3.5% unemployment rate.

Six of the top 10 were in the suburbs of Washington D.C. while the number one spot in America is Los Alamos County New Mexico where the Los Alamos Labratory does most of the nation's scientific nuclear work.

The 10 lowest counties in the country, by this ranking, include a cluster of six in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky (Breathitt, Clay, Jackson, Lee, Leslie and Magoffin), along with four others in various parts of the rural South: Humphreys County, Miss.; East Carroll Parish, La.; Jefferson County, Ga.; and Lee County, Ark.

Shannon County in southwest South Dakota ranked 3080 out of 3135 in the nation with a low median income and high obesity and disability numbers.