county

Population patterns of US counties rebounding following pandemic contraction

Following a jolt of outmigration and population declines from some of the country’s most populous counties in 2021, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that county growth patterns are returning to pre-pandemic rates. The U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2022 estimates of population and components of change found that many college counties saw a rebound in 2022, a pattern that was observed in many metropolitan counties in the South and West.

Useful Stats: 20-Year Change in US Real GDP per capita, 2002-2021

From 2002-2021 (the last 20 years for which data is available), the total U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP adjusted for inflation, or Real GDP) increased by approximately 45%, from $13.5 trillion to $19.6 trillion in chained 2012 dollars. On a per capita basis, county-level real GDP increased by an average of 36% over the past 20 years, with a range of growth from -77% (Brooks County, Texas) to 3,950% (Culberson County, Texas).

Useful Stats: 1 and 3-year analysis of county-level US RGDP per capita

This edition of Useful Stats takes a high-level look at the United States’ change in Real Gross Domestic Product (RGDP, which is GDP adjusted for inflation) on a per capita basis for each of its counties, boroughs, parishes, etc. (hereon referred to as “counties”). Looking at RGDP per capita allows for an inflation adjusted, population standardized metric for comparing counties over time.

Useful Stats: 2020 Industry contributions to county-level GDP

This week’s edition of Useful Stats examines the contributions to county-level GDP in 2020 by industry group. Specifically, this analysis identifies the industries that contributed the most to the economic output of each county in 2020, as well as examining the annual percent changes in industry contribution to county GDP over the previous year. Most industries experienced declines brought on by the economic recession of 2020, although some experienced growth. In 2020, the real estate and rental and leasing; professional and business services; government and government enterprises; and manufacturing industry groups were vital economic drivers in terms of both their contributions to national GDP as well as the number of counties where they were the top contributor.

Useful Stats: Per Capita County-level GDP

Although changes in gross domestic product (GDP) give us an idea of how economies are changing, this measure fails to tell the full story. This edition of Useful Stats examines county-level GDP-per-capita, the measure of economic output for each resident in an area. What we see is strongly skewed data with high 2018 GDP-per-capita levels and high 10-year growth rates concentrated primarily in low population-high output counties. We also see that rural populations have declined over the period while metropolitan areas have grown, yet the median GDP-per-capita growth rates between the groups are essentially the same.

Useful Stats: 10-year Changes in Real GDP by County and Industry, 2009-2018

Building on SSTI’s recent analysis of county-level GDP by industry, this edition moves beyond a single year and examines the changes in real — adjusted for inflation — county GDP and the changes in industry-specific contributions to county GDP for the 10-year period from 2009 to 2018. As shown in the interactive map below, the total 10-year growth rate for counties averaged approximately 21 percent.

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