Every year, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) compares each of Appalachia’s 423 counties with national averages. By analyzing unemployment rates, per capita market income, and poverty rates, counties are classified within one of five economic status designations:
- Competitive, or
The designations are used to determine the match requirements for ARC grants, as well as research topics and investment strategies targeting resources to the region’s most distressed areas.
We’ve seen an uptick in at-risk (+14) and distressed (+1) counties, especially in the wake of COVID-19, but Appalachians throughout the region are more resolved than ever to address distress and believe in the potential for progress.
Has your county’s status designation changed this year? Check out our interactive map to find out.