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America's Ghost Towns

Worcester County, Md.

Number of homes: 55,749
Vacancy rate: 60 percent
Population: 49,274

The Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation recently estimated that the county would have a sharp drop in its tax base in fiscal year 2012 and “another, more drastic, revenue decrease” for the fiscal year that follows. The twin engines of county’s economy are tourism and agriculture. Experts believe the tourism business in Maryland’s Eastern Shore could stay crippled for years.

(AP Photo/Stephen Cherry)

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