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An area's economic and social characteristics have significant effects on its development and need for various types of public programs. To provide policy-relevant information about diverse county conditions to policymakers, public officials, and researchers, ERS has developed a set of county-level typology codes that captures differences in economic and social characteristics.

The 2004 County Typology codes classify all U.S. counties according to six non-overlapping categories of economic dependence and seven overlapping categories of policy-relevant themes. The economic types include farming, mining, manufacturing, services, Federal/State government, and unspecialized counties. The policy types include housing stress, low education, low employment, persistent poverty, population loss, nonmetro recreation, and retirement destination. In addition, a code identifying counties with persistent child poverty is available.

In July 2014, an update to the persistent poverty codes was made available here. A map and brief discussion of the current persistent poverty designations are also available.

An update of all County Typology codes is planned later in 2014.

    Data Set      Download as Excel    
    Downloads     Last Updated     Next Update    
    Persistent Poverty Counties (Updated 2013) Download as Excel       7/7/2014   
    2004 County Typology Codes Download as Excel       7/1/2008   6/30/2014   
    1989 County Typology Codes Download as Excel       9/2/2009   
    1979 and 1986 County Typology Codes (uses the 1983 nonmetro definition) Download as Excel       9/3/2009   
    1979 and 1986 County Typology Codes (uses the 1974 nonmetro definition) Download as Excel       9/3/2009   

    Last updated: Monday, July 07, 2014

    For more information contact: Timothy Parker

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