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SOURCE & METHODOLOGY

Distressed Areas, FY 2007 – FY 2014


The Appalachian Regional Commission recognizes that some areas in non-distressed counties have substantially higher poverty or lower income levels than national averages and should be considered economically distressed. These areas should be an important focus of Commission assistance. Accordingly, the Commission designates as "distressed areas," those census tracts in at-risk and transitional counties that have a median family income no greater than 67 percent of the U.S. average and a poverty rate 150 percent of the U.S. average or greater. Designations are revised annually using the latest five-year estimates from the American Community Survey.

Distressed Areas Indicators

Median Family Income
The median family income is the median income value for all families in a given area. The median divides the income distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median income and one-half above the median. The median is not skewed by outlier values in the data distribution, unlike the mean or average value.

Source for Fiscal Years 2012–2014: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. http://www.census.gov/acs/www/

Source for Fiscal Years 2007–2011: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Census of Population and Housing 2000 Summary File 3. http://www.census.gov/main/www/cen2000.html

Poverty Rate
The poverty rate is computed by dividing the number of persons living below the poverty threshold by the number of persons for whom poverty status has been determined.

Note: Five-year poverty estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey were first used in the fiscal year 2012 distressed areas designations. The decennial census no longer produces poverty data. A new five-year poverty estimate will be incorporated into the designations each fiscal year.

Source for Fiscal Years 2012–2014: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5- Year Estimates. http://www.census.gov/acs/www/

Source for Fiscal Years 2007–2011: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Census of Population and Housing 2000 Summary File 3. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty

Time Series

ARC computes new distressed areas designations each fiscal year based on the most current data available at the beginning of the calendar year of computation. The time series used for each economic indicator and fiscal year is listed in the table below.

Fiscal Year Median Family Income Poverty Rate

2014
(Effective Oct. 1, 2013–Sept. 30, 2014)

2007–2011 2007–2011

2013
(Effective Oct. 1, 2012–Sept. 30, 2013)

2006–2010 2006–2010

2012
(Effective Oct. 1, 2011–Sept. 30, 2012)

2005–2009 2005–2009

2011
(Effective Oct. 1, 2010–Sept. 30, 2011)

2000 2000

2010
(Effective Oct. 1, 2009–Sept. 30, 2010)

2000 2000

2009
(Effective Oct. 1, 2008–Sept. 30, 2009)

2000 2000

2008
(Effective Oct. 1, 2007–Sept. 30, 2008)

2000 2000

2007
(Effective Oct. 1, 2006–Sept. 30, 2007)

2000 2000