Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Yankee Sensibilities

A friend and economist here in NH has blogged before about the intersections of economics and finance with "life" but today's blog is definitely worth following the link.  Brian looked at the debt delinquency rate of residents in our state by county and is pleasantly surprized that our most remote and less affluent county (Coos, prounced "Co-oss" - don't ask me why), also has the smallest per capita debt load.

Whether it is the Yankee values of “living within your means,” or doing whatever it takes to honor obligations, it surely wasn’t a robust economy and strong income growth that enabled Coos County to have the lowest aggregate severe delinquency rate.” Read the full post here.
I haven’t yet studied Brian’s data thoroughly but one visual did leap out at me – two of our most affluent counties (Hillsborough and Rockingham) seem to have higher credit card delinquency rates than the other counties. Maybe more affluent NH Yankees can’t lives as well within their means as our more rural cousins? (development density and high-paying jobs are highest in southern NH in proximity to the Massachusetts border) Or maybe I can just blame this trend on the influx of fiscally irresponsible Mass folks into our fair state?? Nevermind. But really, Brian’s blog is worth following. A nice guy too. How many of you can say that about an econ type?


bs king said...

Oh hey now with the Mass folks comments!

Actually though, as a former Hillsborough county resident...isn't that where Manchester is? My guess is the debt thing is because there's a lot of poor folks living round those parts.

I have no evidence for this, but I would guess that the urban poor tend to run at higher debt loads than the rural poor.

Actually, I'd love to see the numbers on urban vs rural debt load in general....lots more ways to get yourself in to financial trouble in the city.

Sponge-headed ScienceMan said...

Good points Bethany (don't take my Mass comments too seriously - after all our oldest resides there now!). I suspect you're on to something with the urban vs rural comments.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Not only urban vs rural, but suburban debt may be in play here. Hillsborough and Rockingham have most of the true suburbs and true cities.

He is good, BTW.