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Posted: 4:39 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014

Location determines counties’ wealth

By Dan Chapman

Forsyth County is among the top 25 wealthiest counties in America. Hancock County is among the bottom 25.

Hard to believe, but a half century ago the two counties had much in common. Both were rural. Both made livelihoods from cotton and cows. Both were poor.

What happened? Atlanta happened.

Forsyth, which lies within commuting distance, got sucked into Atlanta’s gravitational orbit, Hancock, just enough farther away to be too far, shriveled. Together, they tell a story of diverging destinies repeated from Washington to San Francisco.

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