County Typology Codes

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 a range of economic and social characteristics.

The 2015 County Typology Codes classify all U.S. counties according to six mutually exclusive categories of economic dependence and six overlapping categories of policy-relevant themes. The economic dependence types include farming, mining, manufacturing, Federal/State government, recreation, and nonspecialized counties. The policy-relevant types include low education, low employment, persistent poverty, persistent child poverty, population loss, and retirement destination.

Previously-released versions of the codes and methodologies are available in the files below.

Errata: On May 31, 2017, the ERS 2015 County Typology Codes (non-overlapping economic types only) were revised for six counties to correct a coding error. The revised classifications are as follows: Pendleton, KY (mining-dependent); Alger, MI (Federal/State government-dependent); Hickory, MO (recreation); Washington, RI (Federal/State government-dependent); Leon, TX (mining-dependent); and Tucker, WV (Federal/State government-dependent).

Data Set Last Updated Next Update
ERS County Typology Codes, 2015 Edition 5/31/2017
ERS County Typology Codes, 2015 Edition (in CSV format) 5/31/2017
ERS County Typology Codes, 2015 Edition: Persistent Poverty and Persistent Child Poverty Counties 12/7/2015
2004 County Typology Codes 7/1/2008
1989 County Typology Codes 9/2/2009
1979 and 1986 County Typology Codes (uses the 1983 nonmetro definition) 9/3/2009
1979 and 1986 County Typology Codes (uses the 1974 nonmetro definition) 9/3/2009