Documentation

The ERS State Fact Sheets provide summary data for the U.S. and each State (including Puerto Rico when available) for population, income, poverty, per capita income, food security, educational attainment, earnings per job, employment, unemployment, farm characteristics, farm financial indicators, top agricultural commodities, and agricultural exports. Statistics are also provided for the rural and urban portions of the nation and States when possible.

Data Sources

Rural/Urban Delineation

The rural and urban classifications used in the State Fact Sheets are based on Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Metropolitan and Micropolitan area designation released February 2013. We use the terms rural/urban interchangeably with nonmetropolitan/metropolitan. To determine rural/urban national and State statistics, county-level data are aggregated by metropolitan status to generate rural/urban totals and rates for the nation and by State. Nonmetropolitan (nonmetro) counties are defined as counties that are not included in a metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Specifically, counties with Rural-Urban Continuum Codes (RUCCs) 1-3 are metropolitan and counties with RUCCs 4-9 are nonmetropolitan.

Newly created counties and counties with significant boundary changes since 2013 are designated as metropolitan or nonmetropolitan based on the 2013 designation of the area preceding the change. More information on county changes can be found on the Census Bureau website page Substantial Changes to Counties and County Equivalent Entities: 1970-Present.

See also the Update and Revision History at the bottom of this page. 

Population

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Decennial Censuses, various years, and annual population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates Program.

For more information contact John Cromartie, 202-694-5421 and see the Population & Migration topic page.

Per Capita Income

Per capital income is calculated by dividing total personal income by the total population in an area. 

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Regional Economic Accounts, Local Area Personal Income, Table CAINC05N.

For more information contact Kathleen Kassel, 202-694-5352.

Earnings Per Job

Earnings per job is calculated by dividing total earnings (wage/salary and self-employment) income by the total number of jobs in an area. 

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Regional Economic Accounts, Local Area Personal Income, Tables CAINC05N and CAEMP25N.

For more information contact Kathleen Kassel, 202-694-5352.

Poverty Rates

Poverty rates come directly from the Decennial Censuses for the reference years 1979, 1989, 1999; and latest annual U.S. Census Bureau, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE). See important notes about poverty data and intercensal model-based poverty estimates.

For more information contact Tracey Farrigan, 202-694-5489 and see the Rural Poverty & Well-being topic page.

Household-Level Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security

Household food insecurity and very low food security measures are estimated by USDA, Economic Research Service; see the Food Security in the United States data product for details.

For more information contact Alisha Coleman-Jensen, 202-694-5456.

Education

Educational attainment is comprised of four mutually exclusive categories for persons 25 years of age and older: 

  • Not completing high school—Percent of the population 25 years old or older whose highest completed level of schooling was 12th grade or lower and who do not have a high school diploma.
  • Completing high school only—Percent of the population 25 years old or older whose highest completed level of schooling was 12th grade and who have a high school diploma; includes those with a high school equivalency.
  • Completing some college—Percent of the population 25 years old or older with some college credit but no bachelor's degree or higher; includes those with associate's degree.
  • Completing college—Percent of the population 25 years old or older with bachelor's degree or higher.

Note that for 1980, the share of adults not completing high school includes those who had not completed the 12th grade, but may include those who obtained their high school equivalency (such as a GED). In 1990-forward, the share includes those who received neither a high school diploma nor its equivalent (such as a GED).

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1980, 1990, 2000 Censuses of Population, and the latest 5-year American Community Survey (ACS). The 5-year ACS estimates include data collected in 2020, which had larger margins of error because of data collection complications during the COVID-19 pandemic. See the Census Bureau’s website for more details.

For more information contact Tracey Farrigan, 202-694-5489 and see the Rural Education topic page.

Employment Change

Employment change is computed as the difference in the annual average number of persons employed in the years indicated, as a percent of employment in the base year. Employment is based on place of residence.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics. See the Rural Employment and Unemployment topic page for details.

For more information contact Austin Sanders.

Unemployment

The unemployment rate is the percentage of the civilian labor force age 16 and over that can not find a job, but is willing to work and actively seeking employment. The rural and urban unemployment rates were computed by summing the number of unemployed and the civilian labor force across all nonmetropolitan and metropolitan counties, and calculating the percent unemployed. 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics

For more information contact Austin Sanders and see the Rural Employment and Unemployment topic page.

Farm Characteristics

Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Census of Agriculture.

For more information contact NASS Customer Service, 1-800-727-9540.

Farm Financial Indicators

Source: USDA, Economic Research Service. See the Farm Income and Wealth Statistics data page for details.

For more information contact the Farm Income Team.

Top 5 Agricultural Commodities

Source: USDA, Economic Research Service. See Cash Receipts Data for details.

For more information contact the Farm Income Team.

Top 5 Agricultural Exports

Source: USDA, Economic Research Service. See State Agricultural Trade Data for details.

For more information contact Bart Kenner, 816-926-8827 and Dylan Russell.

Top 5 Counties in Agricultural Sales

Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Census of Agriculture 2007, 2012, and 2017 (available through Census Data Query Tool (CDQT)). 

For more information contact NASS Customer Service, 1-800-727-9540.

Update and Revision History

December 1, 2022—Revised farm financial indicators and top commodities estimates.

October 27, 2022—This release updated the top agricultural export commodities to calendar year 2021 estimates.

September 7, 2022—Added the latest 3-year average (2019-21) U.S. and State household food insecurity and very low food security estimates. Updated previous 3-year average time periods and estimates.

September 1, 2022—Revised farm financial indicators and top commodities (2021 U.S. and State estimates available).

June 3, 2022—Added the latest U.S. and State-level employment/unemployment estimates (2021 annual average); previous years were revised. Added the latest population estimates (2021); poverty estimates (2020); educational attainment estimates (2016-2020 average); and employment change/unemployment rates (2021).

February 4, 2022—Incorporated revisions to 2020 estimates for farm financial indicators and top commodities in cash receipts.

January 5, 2022—Statistics on per capita income and earnings per job have been updated with the latest available data (2020); previous years were revised. 

December 1, 2021—Revised farm financial indicators and top commodities estimates.

November 1, 2021—This release updated the top agricultural export commodities estimates to 2020.

October 8, 2021—Added 2020 decennial population data.

September 9, 2021—Added the latest 3-year average (2018-20) U.S. and State household food insecurity and very low food security estimates. Updated previous 3-year average time periods and estimates.

September 2, 2021—Revised farm financial indicators and top commodities estimates (2020 State estimates available).

June 2, 2021—Added the latest (2020) U.S. and State-level employment/unemployment estimates; previous years were revised. 

February 24, 2021—Statistics on educational attainment, per capita income, and earnings per job have been updated with the latest available data (2019).

February 5, 2021—Incorporated revisions to 2019 estimates for farm financial indicators and top commodities in cash receipts.

January 5, 2021—Added the latest (2019) U.S. and State-Level poverty estimates. 

December 2, 2020—Revised farm financial indicators and top commodities estimates.

October 29, 2020—This release updated the top agricultural export estimates to 2019.

September 9, 2020—Added the latest (2017-19) U.S. and State household food insecurity and very low food security estimates.

September 2, 2020—Revised farm financial indicators and top commodities estimates (2019 State estimates available).

May 13, 2020—Added the latest (2019) U.S. and State-level employment/unemployment estimates; previous years were revised. Added the latest (2019) U.S. and State-level population estimates; previous years were revised.

February 5, 2020—Revised farm financial indicators and top commodities estimates. Statistics on educational attainment, per capita income, and earnings per job have been updated with the latest available data (2018). Added the latest (2018) U.S. and State-Level poverty estimates. 

November 27, 2019—Revised farm financial indicators and top commodities estimates.

October 31, 2019—This release updated the top agricultural export estimates to 2018.

October 7, 2019—The table for Organic Agriculture (number of certified operations and crop/pasture acreage) was removed. Updates to the ERS data source used for this table have been discontinued. Information on certified organic producers, by State, is available from the Agricultural Marketing Service, Organic Integrity Database.; organic acreage is available from the National Agricultural Statistics Service

September 6, 2019—Added the latest (2016-18) U.S. and State household food insecurity estimates.

August 30, 2019—Revised farm financial indicators and top commodities estimates (2018 State estimates available).

May 30, 2019—Added data from the 2017 Census of Agriculture on farm characteristics and top counties in agricultural sales. Added the latest (2018) U.S. and State-level employment/unemployment estimates; previous years were revised. Added the latest (2018) U.S. and State-level population estimates; previous years were revised.

March 6, 2019—Farm financial indicators and top commodities were revised.

February 28, 2019—Statistics on educational attainment, per capita income, and earnings per job have been updated with the latest available data (2017).

November 30, 2018—Revised farm financial indicators and top commodities estimates.

October 26, 2018—Added the latest (2017) U.S. and State-Level poverty estimates. Updated the agricultural export data to 2017.

September 5, 2018—Added the latest (2017) food security estimates.

August 30, 2018—Revised farm financial indicators estimates (2017 State estimates available).

July 30, 2018—The State Fact Sheets were reposted to revise data in the top 5 agriculture exports; see errata for details.

July 17, 2018—The State Fact Sheets were revised to reflect a correction to the ERS data product Farm Income and Wealth Statistics. Those data were revised to correct an omission of production data for potatoes in Alaska and Maine in 2015 and 2016, and a data processing error with 2016 State-level conservation payments. Including the potato production data increases U.S. potato and total cash receipts $60.3 million in 2015 and $152.9 million in 2016 and increases the value of the crop inventory adjustment $10.3 million in 2015. Other data or reports containing these variables (including gross and net farm income, gross and net cash farm income) were likewise revised. Overall, U.S. net farm income and net cash farm income were revised upward less than 0.3 percent in 2015 and 2016. To correct the data processing error—which incorrectly assigned some conservation program payments to certain States but did not affect national totals—data and reports including State-level direct government program payments were revised. 

May 24, 2018—Added the latest (2017) U.S. and State-level employment/unemployment estimates; previous years were revised.

April 19, 2018—Added the latest (2017) U.S. and State-level population estimates; previous years were revised.

February 7, 2018—Revised farm financial indicators estimates.

January 25, 2018—Statistics on educational attainment, per capita income, and earnings per job have been updated with the latest available data.

December 14, 2017—Data on top State exports was replaced; see the errata for details. 

November 29, 2017—Revised farm financial indicators estimates.

November 7, 2017—Updated the agricultural export data to 2016.

October 25, 2017—Added the latest (2016) U.S. and State-Level poverty estimates.

September 29, 2017—Added the latest food security estimates for 2016.

June 8, 2017—Employment change and unemployment data were updated with 2016 estimates; previous years were revised.

April 14, 2017—Population data were updated with 2016 estimates; previous years were revised.

February 7, 2017—Revised farm financial indicators estimates.

January 27, 2017—Statistics on poverty, educational attainment, per capita income, and earnings per job have been updated with the latest available data.

November 30, 2016—Revised farm financial indicators estimates.

November 4, 2016—Updated the agricultural export data to 2015.

September 8, 2016—Posted the latest food security estimates for 2015.

August 30, 2016—Posted new farm financial indicators for 2015, and revised estimates for 2014. Replaced the 2014 Top 5 Agricultural Commodities with 2015 estimates. 

July 20, 2016—Corrected percent of cropland in pasture from the 2012 Census of Agriculture. See errata for more information.

June 3, 2016—Unemployment rates and employment change variables updated with 2015 data, and revised estimates for previous years.

April 29, 2016—Population estimates were updated to 2015. 

Recommended Citation

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. State Fact Sheets, October 2022.