Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Gary C. Cox

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Accurate population projections are essential for anyone engaged in long-range planning. Predicting future population trends any considerable distance into the future, however, is a notoriously risky undertaking. So many human variables are involved that all too frequently such projections make a mockery of the demographer's best efforts. Regardless of how sophisticated are the statistical models used, long-range population forcasting is statistical guessing with a fairly wide margin of error. Eastern Kentucky and Central Appalachia, in general, present an especially formidable challenge. Since the beginning of the 20th Century the economy of the region has been tied to one product, coal, which has led the region through a series of spectacular " booms" and heartbreaking "busts." While the present global energy situation appears to have contributed a measure of stability to the coal industry and indirectly to the region, coal remains a highly volatile factor in the future of Eastern Kentucky.



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