A quarterly email from the Appalachian Regional Commission
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In Focus: Issues and Ideas Shaping Development in Appalachia
Vol. 2, No. 2
April 2018 edition: Data tools for economic development in Appalachia

Using Community Data for Economic Growth

The Appalachian Region: A Data Overview from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey

Community data is a key tool in planning for economic growth: Data can help leaders identify opportunities and trends, make resource decisions, and build stronger, better-informed action plans. 

To help Appalachian communities build more data-driven development strategies, ARC and the Population Reference Bureau created The Appalachian Region: A Data Overview from the 2012–2016 American Community Survey, offering insights on socioeconomic and demographic change in Appalachia at the regional, subregional, state, and county levels.

Pulling data from the 2012–2016 American Community Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 population estimates, the report explores Appalachian trends in a broad range of topics including population, age, race and ethnicity, education, labor force and employment, income and poverty, housing, and others. 

The report includes data tables and maps as well as trend analyses—resources that community leaders and development planners can use to shape strategies for stronger local economies.  

Read the report >

Fact sheets: See some of the trends in Appalachian population, education, employment, and income and poverty:

Data Snapshot: Appalachia's Population
Data Snapshot: Education in Appalachia
Data Snapshot: Employment in Appalachia
Data Snapshot: Income & Poverty in Appalachia

Making Data Connections on Appalachian Drug Overdose

Appalachian Overdose Mapping Tool
Research shows that Appalachia is one of the hardest-hit areas in the country’s drug overdose epidemic: Residents of the Region are 55% more likely to die from overdose (including opioid overdose) than other Americans. 

To help Appalachian communities better understand the epidemic in a socioeconomic context—and to inform their planning and response strategies—NORC at the University of Chicago and ARC have developed the Appalachian Overdose Mapping Tool

The tool lets users
  • Map overdose data for the Region’s 420 counties and overlay data on socioeconomic factors including income, poverty, unemployment, educational attainment, ethnicity, and disability.
  • Compare county-level information with regional and national data, and see changes in the data over time between 2006 and 2015.
  • Generate county-level data fact sheets to assist in community planning efforts.
Use the tool >
Explore more ARC data and research on Appalachia >
Map of the Appalachian Region

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

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