Publication Date



Poverty/Income Inequality, Data/Demographics/History, Equality/Civil Rights


During the 1900s, the U.S. transitioned from an economy based largely on manufacturing to one in which almost all jobs are in services. This transition has rearranged the economic fortunes of regions throughout the nation: Locations in the Sunbelt and on both coasts prospered in the 1970s as traditional manufacturing centers in the Midwest declined. But such “rust belt” states as Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan rebounded in the late 1980s and early 1990s as the hemorrhage of manufacturing jobs abated and service-sector and finance jobs surged. While their recovery has not returned these states to the preeminence they enjoyed in the 1960s, it has disproved many forecasts of inevitable decline for the nation’s industrial heartland.