A study of socioeconomic variables in a nine-county region in Eastern Kentucky was undertaken to determine whether significant growth had occurred since the opening of the Mountain Parkway and reconstruction of KY 15. It was hypothesized that these roads have acted as catalysts with available resources to promote a better quality of life.

Study revealed that, while income levels and business sales have enjoyed substantial increases, overall quality of life is still poor. Educational facilities are inadequate; economic diversification in business types is limited; coal is still the main stimulant for income and employment. However, outmigration of persons from the area has been reversed simply because economic conditions are better due to the reemergence of coal.

Since the return of coal as a more important energy resource for the nation has only occurred recently, the full impact of the energy crisis and better highways has yet to be seen in regard to socio-economic stimulation of this traditionally depressed region.

Report Date


Report Number

No. 447

Digital Object Identifier



The contents of this report reflect the views of the author who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not reflect the official views or policies of the Kentucky Bureau of Highways. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.