Thursday, March 15, 2018

Interactive map with local data rates U.S. counties on economic distress; shows some unexpected outliers

Dark red counties are the most economically stressed, and dark blue the least.
(EIG map; click on the image to enlarge it or click here to view the interactive map.)
The Economic Innovation Group has created a interactive map that identifies the economic distress level of every zip code in the United States. Maps are also available that measure by zip code, congressional district or city.

The Distressed Communities Index is comprised of seven metrics that measure economic well-being: percentage of the population with high school diplomas, housing vacancy rate, unemployment rate, poverty rate, median income (expressed as a percentage of the state's median income), percentage change in the number of jobs available from 2011 to 2015, and the percentage change in the number of business establishments from 2011 to 2015.

Putnam County, W.Va., is near the middle.
Some of the map is predictable, with large swaths of dark red (the most economically distressed) across Appalachia, the Black Belt, the Mississippi Delta, the Rio Grande and many rural areas. But the map reveals some unexpected outliers too, like Putnam County, West Virginia, a dark blue dot in a sea of dark red.

It's a fascinating portrait of America. At a large scale, it’s almost an Impressionist painting; at small scale a colorful mosaic. How did your county fare?

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