Report ranks San Augustine County hardest place to live in Texas

SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A recent report ranked several East Texas counties as being the hardest places to live in the state of Texas. San Augustine County's economic standing landed them the No. 1 spot.

Roughly 8,000 people live in San Augustine County.

Native LaTanja Mathis said the county has its downfall.

"There are not a lot of jobs here, " Mathis said. "There could be more job choices."

That might be one of the reasons to blame for the county's poor rating.

The analysis was conducted by the Upshot, a New York Times blog. Data was complied for each US city and ranked them according to social economic factors such as employment, education, income, disability, life expectancy, and obesity.

In San Augustine, the report showed that the average income was $27,000 a year. Only 11 percent of its resident had a college education, and the obesity rate was 44 percent.

Although San Augustine got top billing, three other deep East Texas counties also made the top 10 list: Sabine County, Polk County, and Trinity County.

LaTasha Byrd used to be a business owner in San Augustine and said she is familiar with the struggles the county faces. She said after closing up her business five years ago, she decided to work for the San Augustine Chamber of Commerce office in order to make improvements in her hometown. Bryd isn't surprised by this unflattering depiction of San Augustine.

"Our community isn't as developed as other communities, but I think it goes back to us not having the proper resources," Byrd said.

Mathis has mixed feelings about the findings.

"There are pros and cons when it comes to San Augustine. I will say it's a good place to raise a family," Mathis said.

However, San Augustine County Judge Samye Johnson said she hates the ranking. She pointed out that the survey failed to show the big improvements and the residents' big hearts.

"Our small county is like a big family," Johnson said. "People in this county help each other out in time of need."

However, she does admit that the county needs to see improvements in vocational and soft-skill training.

Now when these East Texas counties were compared to other counties across the US they also ranked fairly low.

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