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
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.
An update of the County Typology codes is planned for 2014.