The Appalachian Region: A Data Overview from the 2017-2021 American Community Survey

Author(s): Kelvin Pollard, Sara Srygley and Linda A. Jacobsen
Author Organization(s): Population Reference Bureau

This study examines state- and county-level data for the 13 Appalachian states from the 2017-2021 American Community Survey (ACS) and from U.S. Census Bureau population estimates on topics including population, age, race and ethnicity, housing occupancy and tenure, education, labor force, employment and unemployment, income and poverty, health insurance coverage, disability status, migration patterns, and veteran status. Additionally, data are provided on types of housing units, homeownership, types of living arrangements, travel time to work and location of work, SNAP benefits, and income-to-poverty ratio. This data also compares the characteristics of Appalachia’s 107 rural counties to those of rural counties located in the rest of the country. 

The data contained in this Chartbook describe how residents in the Appalachian Region were faring before and during the initial 22 months of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in March 2020. As such, these numbers do not measure the social and economic impact of the outbreak beyond 2020 and 2021.

The data do, however, provide a benchmark that will serve as a point of comparison as new figures become available in the coming years.

Information is summarized for five Appalachian subregions and five metro designations. The report also compares data from two recent non-overlapping time periods, allowing the study of trends.

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