"The Depression Zone"
Gallup finds that Appalachia is where the depression is:
It’s well-documented that poor economic conditions can increase the incidence of stress and mental health problems in a population, which can in turn hamper productivity. This negative cycle may also lead to lower wellbeing among many Americans, as Appalachian communities seem predisposed to a combination of economic and psychological depression.
A possibly related issue I wonder about is why haven’t we seen more population movement toward the low unemployment states in the plains and elsewhere. I have a whole worked out theory about internal migration trends over the last 20-25 years in this country, but it doesn’t explain the short-term non-responsiveness. Obviously, it’s not that hard to think of possible reasons to avoid relocating to North Dakota, but it would be worth trying to understand what the specific issues are.