The Unique Challenges COVID-19 Poses to America’s Distressed Communities
By Daniel Newman and Kenan Fikri Americans living in distressed communities are about…
National statistics too often obscure the underlying diversity of local economies and the evolving nature of American communities. In this data snapshot, EIG merges insights from its own Distressed Communities Index with the American Communities Project’s county cultural classifications to examine how geography, society, and economy intersect in the United States.
Based at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, the American Communities Project classifies counties into 15 types based on a range of social, demographic, and economic indicators ranging from population density to religious affiliation and membership in the military. EIG’s Distressed Communities Index, for its part, combines seven indicators of economic well-being into a single metric. It covers poverty, education, worklessness, vacancy, incomes, jobs, and businesses, and it groups counties into five quintiles ranging from prosperous to distressed based on their relative performance.
Together, the two complementary frameworks illuminate a wholly original socioeconomic map of the United States. Their crosswalk allows us to answer questions such as: How do communities with different demographic compositions stack up? Where does prosperity reign? Is all of rural America struggling?
Our key takeaways include:
What strikes you?