"Lancaster. County has this kind of unique topography. It is a rural county. That is about a two hour Dr West of Philadelphia. It has five hundred forty thousand residents and it's probably best known for its big amish community and its sprawling farms where yes. If you're driving along. On one of the highways you will often spot amish people and horse buggies yet but here are to economic facts about Lancaster. County the start of our economic puzzle. I I it has a big base of manufacturing jobs three decades ago more than thirty percent of the jobs in the county were in manufacturing and then two decades ago those those jobs started disappearing just like in other parts of the country. The jobs rather outsource to countries overseas or replaced by machines. But even now fifteen fifteen percent of all jobs in Lancaster are still in manufacturing. And that's almost double the percentage for the United States as a whole and here's the second fact. The county has a much smaller share of college educated adults than the rest of the country does and if you look at so many other cities and towns and counties in the US with these same economic characteristics they have suffered brutally in the last few decades as the lost manufacturing jobs often were not replaced by really good new jobs in other industries and so this communities ended up getting in kind of hollowed out but Lancaster County has avoided that fate. Yeah exactly that is the puzzle. Lancaster County is doing great. The county's households make more money than people in the rest as to the US. A higher share of the adults in the county have jobs than in the rest of the US and an index published earlier this year by the research company. Gallup found that Lancaster County County ranks eighth out of one hundred and fifty six counties that it surveyed for the wellbeing of its residents and that includes things like good career paths socialize and the health of those residents and you can see the the the way that strong economy sort of translates into overall quality of living. Is there too so the average life expectancy accuracy and Mike Stern is higher as well. So how did Lancaster County pull this off. Part of the answer is that there are other industries that have helped to cushion the blow of last manufacturing jobs ops Princeton's two thirds of the land in the county is farmland so there's a lot of agriculture cattle and poultry and eggs plus. The county includes dozens of small towns and villages ages with Quirky names like Paradise Mountjoy or my personal favorite burden hand Pennsylvania and they are themselves tourist attractions with architecture. Sometimes dating back hundreds in years to when German settlers I moved to the area and then there is Lancaster city which is by far the biggest and actually the only city in Lancaster County. The city city has about sixty thousand residents so only about eleven percent of the people who live in the county live in the city but as we drove into the city from the suburbs. Adam explain saying that the city has an important economic relationship with the rest of the county one that is still kind of evolving back in the eighties and nineties. When Adam was growing up in the Lancaster suburbs outside of the city Eddie? He remembers that the city itself had a lot of crime. And it also wasn't a place you wanted to go in fact you can only remember going there for two reasons. Entire childhood one was to go to the doctor and the other titanic. Downtown movie theater which doesn't exist anymore. I mean you had to write. I'm the king. Yes you did. Yes you had to. But Lancaster city has been revitalised since then. Local business leaders and local politicians have taken steps to attract investment in new businesses says to lower crime to restore replace crumbling buildings and now it has boutique stores gourmet coffee shops and we can confirm this firsthand a fantastic the ethnic dining scene. It's important to do that. LEGWORK reporting yeah now people come downtown to shop they come down to downtown to go to eat. It's it's it's become like sort of a magnet and draw says all this buried economic activity tourism retail restaurants. Construction Agriculture is made possible by a powerful trend that exists in Lancaster. County population growth. That's the key to this puzzle. The size of Lancaster County population has been growing steadily for decades. which it's the exact opposite of what's happening in most Pennsylvania counties and also about half of the counties in the US whose populations have been falling especially rural counties to think about becoming an entrepreneur in that environment is really tough? Because you know you're going to have less customer every year when a city or county has a falling population that usually means it will have have a week less vibrant economy because it means there are just fewer customers but there also fewer workers for businesses to hire so fewer businesses get started it also means the local government collect fewer tax dollars which could be spent on infrastructure. Teachers police officers social programs pensions. This makes place less attractive so then even more people leave and it creates a downward spiral. Adams's Lancaster County has had the opposite. Spiral an upward spiral. A rising population has given the economy. A boost which which itself disincentivize is that people already lived there from leaving it and it brings in new"