Defining Subregions in Appalachia: Are There Better Alternatives?

Author(s): Kelvin M. Pollard
Author Organization(s): Population Reference Bureau

Since its creation in 1965, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has recognized the need to plan for the region’s development through the creation of easily identifiable subregions. After several years of research, the ARC in 1975 settled on three such areas–northern, central, and southern subregions. The ARC added an overlaying “Highlands” subregion designed for the funding of recreation and conservation projects. Much has changed in Appalachia since the mid-1970s. Given these changes, this report address the question of whether the current configuration of the Appalachian subregions still provide an accurate reflection of areas that are relatively homogenous in their economic status and development.