Service Worker Centers
Midsize and small towns with economies fueled by hotels, stores and restaurants and lower-than-average median household income by county.
Per Capita vs. Median Household Income (2010)
Presidental Elections Vote
% under 5 y. old (2010)
% Population Growth (2000-10)


Service Worker Centers

Not all of rural America is driven by agriculture, there are large swaths of the country full of towns that operate on being small centers of commerce. The Service Worker Centers are the kinds of the communities where small business owners make their money by serving the local dispersed population and by trading money with one another. The owner of the gas station shops at the grocery whose employees eat at the local restaurants. The more remote locations of these counties means they often have no major industry or employee to pump money into them. A few examples: St. Lawrence County, NY Lincoln City, OR

Some of the Service Worker Centers are small-town vacation communities along the coasts or near inland lakes that get a boost through tourism. Residents make their money working at cafés, restaurants and curio shops, while the local governments draw revenue from hotel taxes. Others are simply local commerce hubs for the scattered populations around them, places to buy necessities or do business with local government. These are not places you go to do high-end shopping. The Service Worker Centers generally holds places with one main street or main intersection that is more designed around needs than wants – diners more than four-star restaurants.

There is a strain conservatism that runs through these counties, largely arising out of distrust of big city wealth and big government, but those conservative leanings do not have the same social conservative undertones to them. There are churches in these counties, as there are everywhere, but religion is not the dominant force it is in other small-town rural communities.

Service Worker Centers