Just read this thanks to an intro and link in the Island Free Press to the first in a series by Catherine Kozak in The Outer Banks Sentinel.
Not trying to be negative on a predominately upbeat message board, rather hoping to let the many tourists become more aware of some of the less discussed realities of living on the OBX for some.
"Officially, Dare County is one of the richest in North Carolina. Our tourism-based economy last year raked in $1.2 billion from visitors, behind only mega-wealthy Mecklenburg and Wake counties. Our real estate is valued in the billions and we sent about $90 million combined in state and local tax receipts to Raleigh in 2014.
But Dare County, and its residents, are by no means immune to economic distress. In 2013, the last year for which data are available, about 20 percent of Dare’s children lived in poverty. Of our year-round population of roughly 35,000 people, about 3,000 of them fell below the poverty rate. According to March 2015 numbers, 8,365 people requested public assistance for needs that included housing, food, child care, transportation and utility costs.
And the percentage of poor people in Dare County has grown steadily. In 1989, the rate of children under 18 in poverty was 8.3 percent, less than half of what it is today. According to NC Child, during the 2007-2008 recession, 26 percent of Dare’s school children qualified for the free or reduced lunch program. In June 2015, nearly half — 43 percent — of Dare’s students qualified, with the highest percentages in Manteo and Hatteras Island schools."