Looking for another way to see the impact of the recession? The AP economic stress index shows county by county the trends in the United States economy.

You can view the AP economic stress index here. The AP took information on unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies in each county and then created an index that assigns a color based on how well or badly the economy is doing. The AP economic stress index shows visually the economic trends in the country.

What does the latest AP index show?

Well, things are pretty bad everywhere. Duh.

There used to be a “safe zone” in middle America from the Great Plains to Texas, which was protected from the recession because of the historically high prices in energy and crops. Over the last few months, that safe zone has shrunk.

Basically, unless you live in Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, northern Texas or eastern New Mexico, you’ve been hit by the recession. Rural areas that depend on farming or mining have been hit less by the financial meltdown, so these states have much higher employment than places like California and Florida.

However, thanks to the recession, even these areas will likely feel the pinch as demand slows for crops and coal.

Who has it the worst? Michigan, California, Oregon, the Northeast, Florida, or basically anywhere with large population centers.

Perhaps Obama needs to work on coloring this map.

See video regarding the AP economic stress index below: