Heartland America Suffers: Inland Red States Are Seeing the Highest Levels of Inflation


Since President Joe Biden took office about 10 months ago, the country as a whole has faced a surge in consumer prices. A new report suggests inland states are feeling the effects of inflation most heavily.

On Tuesday, Fox Business’ Grady Trimble reported on the levels of inflation in each of the 50 states.

Nineteen states fell in the highest inflation category, with rates between 7 and 7.5 percent. All 19 of those were inland states rather than coastal ones.

In addition, 14 of the states in the highest inflation category voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

The list included North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.

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Trimble said the St. Louis area was among those grappling with skyrocketing prices.

“This area [is] known as the ‘Gateway to the West,’ but it’s also the gateway to the states being hit hardest by inflation,” he said.

Trimble pointed to auto insurance as an example of this issue. He said while the price of auto insurance has increased 6.3 percent nationally, St. Louis has seen an 8.9 percent increase.

The Fox Business reporter said similar issues exist in prices for rent, gas and restaurants.

Multiple residents of the St. Louis area raised concerns about inflation.

“Everybody I know is complaining about the higher prices in the grocery store, at the gas pump, just restaurants,” one man said.

Another resident said he feels states in Heartland America are being forgotten by decision-makers on the coasts.

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“A lot of decisions are being made by the big cities and coasts, and the small-town mentality kind of gets drowned out a little bit,” he said. “But we hope that that voice can raise a little bit louder.”

A third Missouri resident had even harsher words for politicians who made decisions that she felt put her state at a disadvantage.

“They aren’t living in the reality that we are,” she said. “They, you know, don’t have to deal with a lot of things we do. And so it doesn’t affect them, so they don’t care as much about what happens to our prices.”

Have you felt the effects of inflation?

Trimble added that a new report from Republican lawmakers on the Joint Economic Committee found that lower-income Americans are “disproportionately hit by inflation.”

“High inflation affects any individual who holds or spends money by reducing the purchasing power of their dollars, but it is especially harmful for poor and middle-class Americans,” the panel’s report said.

“In 2019, the lowest-earning 20 percent of U.S. households spent over 4.5 times more of their income on housing and food than the highest-earning 20 percent,” the lawmakers said.

In addition, they spent almost 3.5 times more of their income on transportation, which includes gas.

Since necessities such as gas and food are experiencing rapid price increases, the report said, inflation is “harming poor Americans the most.”

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Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.
Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.