In the world of economics, things aren't always cut-and-dried.

Take income and jobs, for example. Most people might assume that the Twin Cities metro area would've been the first to recover from Minnesota's job and income losses caused by the Great Recession.

But actually, some regions of the state outside of the metro area — particularly along the western edge — have seen much faster growth in average personal income and other economic metrics.

The Twin Cities metro area remains the state's prime economic engine, providing most of the state's tax revenue, a symptom of an urban-rural divide that played a large role in the 2016 election.

Despite challenges faced in greater Minnesota, data suggest that part of the state is better off economically than it was eight years ago. And some areas have recovered even faster than the metro.

A Star Tribune analysis shows per capita personal income increased an average 16 percent in outstate Minnesota since the Great Recession's end in 2009, higher than the metro's rate of 12 percent.

Per capita personal income jumped 30 percent in Swift County, while Kittson, Stevens and Red Lake saw growth of 20 percent or more.

Per capita income in Ramsey County grew more slowly, at 8 percent, while Hennepin rested near the state average of 11 percent.

"The impact of the recession was different in different parts of the state," said Allison Liuzzi, project director of Minnesota Compass, which measures social trends using data.

Income growth was particularly strong in western Minnesota since 2009, likely connected to what's going on in North Dakota. Fargo in particular has seen population and economic growth in recent years, Liuzzi said. Unemployment rates also dropped significantly from 2009 to 2015 in some outstate counties while available jobs increased.

A 2015 report from the National Association of Counties (NACo) showed that of the eight Minnesota counties that had recovered from the recession, all of them were in the western part of the state.

Since then, the most recent iteration of that report shows nearly 25 percent of county economies nationwide closed their unemployment gaps in 2016, mostly in small counties. And the only Minnesota counties to grow jobs faster in 2016 than the year before were on the western edge of the state.

The NACo report also shows a majority of counties that swung from Democrat in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016 had weak job recoveries. But in Minnesota, that was only the case for about half the 19 counties Trump swayed, according to the report.

A notable economic chasm still exists between the Twin Cities and regions beyond. But when taking a closer look, it seems some regions of greater Minnesota effectively weathered the storms of recession.