US

Federal report on Appalachia cites some progress, stubborn challenges after 50 years and $3.8B

  • FILE - In this April 24, 1964, file photo, President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife leave the home of Tom Fletcher, father of eight, who told Johnson he had been out of work for nearly two years, in Inez, Ky. The President made the trip to eastern Kentucky to see conditions in the Appalachian region for himself. A new study finds that the Appalachian Regional Commission’s $3.8 billion investment over 50 years has helped its counties grow faster than rural areas elsewhere. But the region still lags the rest of the country in some important areas. Researchers analyzed data back to the commission’s creation by Johnson in 1965. The 420-county territory includes pieces of 12 states stretching from New York to Mississippi. (AP Photo/File)

    FILE - In this April 24, 1964, file photo, President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife leave the home of Tom Fletcher, father of eight, who told Johnson he had been out of work for nearly two years, in Inez, Ky. The President made the trip to eastern Kentucky to see conditions in the Appalachian region for himself. A new study finds that the Appalachian Regional Commission’s $3.8 billion investment over 50 years has helped its counties grow faster than rural areas elsewhere. But the region still lags the rest of the country in some important areas. Researchers analyzed data back to the commission’s creation by Johnson in 1965. The 420-county territory includes pieces of 12 states stretching from New York to Mississippi. (AP Photo/File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 25, 2010, file photo, Stan Brock, founder of Remote Area Medical, watches as people file in line for an appointment for a free medical clinic at the Sports Arena in downtown Los Angeles. RAM is the Tennessee-based nonprofit group that provides free clinics in Appalachia and elsewhere. Brock says despite President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and state-level efforts to expand Medicaid, many people still fall through the cracks or can’t find doctors in remote areas.  (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

    FILE - In this April 25, 2010, file photo, Stan Brock, founder of Remote Area Medical, watches as people file in line for an appointment for a free medical clinic at the Sports Arena in downtown Los Angeles. RAM is the Tennessee-based nonprofit group that provides free clinics in Appalachia and elsewhere. Brock says despite President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and state-level efforts to expand Medicaid, many people still fall through the cracks or can’t find doctors in remote areas. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)  (The Associated Press)

A new study finds that the nearly $4 billion investment over 50 years by the agency created to fight poverty in Appalachia has helped its counties grow faster than rural areas elsewhere. But the region still lags the rest of the country in some important areas.

The study ordered up by the Appalachian Regional Commission cites progress in some areas such as poverty rates. But its authors noted persistent problems such as mortality rates and dependency on government checks.

Some who work with Appalachia's poor say the government needs to do much more to help the region's residents.

Researchers analyzed data going back to the state-federal partnership's creation by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. The 420-county territory includes pieces of 12 states stretching from New York to Mississippi.