The Bowling Green metropolitan statistical area has shared in the relative prosperity of this part of Kentucky, thanks largely to the auto sector, tourism and Western Kentucky University. Stability in the housing market has also helped.
Springfield, Mo., a city with a common name, has an economy with familiar successes and challenges. The health care sector is booming, and the cost of living is somewhat low, as are wages. But labor productivity seems to be subpar, and the poverty rate is above average.