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Wars in Middle East helped income boom in N.C. military towns

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CAMP LEJEUNE (AP) -- New federal data shows the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq may have sparked a dramatic boost in personal income in North Carolina's military communities.

Data released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows the communities rank among the top in the nation for per capita income growth the last two years.

Servicemen earn more money during combat and defense-related industries have popped up in military areas. Experts say most of the growth in North Carolina occurred between 2004 and 2005, but it slowed last year as the military leveled off and its recruiting efforts slowed.

The largest increase in the state was in Onslow County, home to the Camp Lejeune Marine base. That's where per capita income jumped almost 20 percent, or roughly $6,000.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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