Suburbia’s Wilting Economy: Johnson County, KS

Suburbia’s Wilting Economy: Johnson County, KS

wilting johnson county ksI recently read an article in the JOCO – The Johnson County Government Magazine, titled “The truth about poverty in Johnson County.” While as Bankruptcy Attorneys we deal with people everyday facing financial problems, this article really brings home not only the problem our County is facing, but also the fact that something needs to be done about it.

As the article states, for many, when they first think about Johnson County they think about its citizens having money. As a County, the average per capita income is 40% higher than the rest of Kansas. Beyond that, Johnson County ranks in the top 3% per capita in the Nation.

However, since 2000 the rate of poverty in Johnson County has grown by almost 150%. So, what has changed? According to the article, there are not enough jobs available where the income will sustain the cost of living. If one cannot make enough money to get to work, to apply for services, to pay for daycare, or to pay for their rent – what can they do? Johnson County does not fit the stereotypical ‘poor.’

Karen Wulfkuhle, director of United Community Services of Johnson County, states that the demographics of the County’s poor are as follows:

  •  56% are between 25 and 64 years old
  • 30% have a bachelor’s degree or higher; another 31% have some college or an associate’s degree
  • 75% of poor families have at least one member working.

This might be your neighbor, your co-worker, or the person bagging your groceries… So, what is the solution? Unfortunately, there isn’t one. However, it does sound like the County is working towards progress through collaborative efforts.

If this all sounds too familiar, there are Agencies which provide services:

  • Six County ran food banks
  • Department of Human Services
  • Health Department (WIC)
  • Head Start
  • Local libraries
  • Non-profit agencies
  • United Way

For additional information on poverty in Johnson County, visit
For information from a National perspective, visit


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2017-07-17T20:56:38+00:00 By |General Law Blog|