The Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture has defined six policy types to describe counties' social characteristics and to help policymakers understand the diversity of county conditions. Note that some counties don't fit any of the types while some counties fit more than one.
The six policy types are:
- Persistent poverty
- Persistent related child poverty
- Population loss
- Retirement destination
Please use the download function at the above-right to retrieve ERS policy type codes for the counties in your state. In the downloaded file, a county is a particular policy type if its value is 1.
The following definitions, taken from the ERS website (http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/county-typology-codes.aspx), can be used to understand how these types were determined:
Twenty percent or more of residents 25-64 years old had neither a high school diploma nor GED in 2008-2012 (5-year average).
Less than 65 percent of residents 21-64 years old were employed in 2008-2012 (5-year average).
Twenty percent or more of residents were poor as measured by each of the censuses: 1980, 1990, and 2000, and the 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-year average.
Persistent related child poverty
Twenty percent or more of related children under 18 years old were poor as measured by each of the censuses: 1980, 1990, and 2000, and the 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-year average.
The number of residents declined both between the 1990 and 2000 censuses and between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
Number of residents 60 and older grew by 15 percent or more between 2000 and 2010 due to in-migration.