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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. In May 2015, an update to the persistent child poverty codes was made, see a map and discussion of the latest county designations.

An update of all County Typology codes is planned later in 2015.

    Data Set   
    DownloadsLast UpdatedNext Update
    Persistent Poverty Counties, includes Persistent Child Poverty Counties (latest codes use the 2007-11 American Community Survey data)Download as Excel5/18/2015
    2004 County Typology CodesDownload as Excel7/1/2008
    1989 County Typology CodesDownload as Excel9/2/2009
    1979 and 1986 County Typology Codes (uses the 1983 nonmetro definition)Download as Excel9/3/2009
    1979 and 1986 County Typology Codes (uses the 1974 nonmetro definition)Download as Excel9/3/2009

    Last updated: Monday, June 01, 2015

    For more information contact: Timothy Parker