county-level typology codes that captures a range ofeconomic and social characteristics.
The 2015 County Typology Codes classify all U.S. counties according to six mutually exclusive categories of economic dependence and six overlapping categories of policy-relevant themes. The economic dependence types include farming, mining, manufacturing, Federal/State government, recreation, and nonspecialized counties. The policy-relevant types include low education, low employment, persistent poverty, persistent child poverty, population loss, and retirement destination.
What’s interesting about the typography is as much what it DOESN’T show as what it does when it comes to Herkimer County. The six economic dependence categories are defined as follows:
- Farming County: Farming accounted for at 25% or more of the county's earnings or 16% or more of the employment averaged over 2010-2012.
- Mining County: Mining accounted for 13% or more of the county's earnings or 8% of the employment averaged over 2010-12.
- Manufacturing County: Manufacturing accounted for 23% or more of the county's earnings or 16% of the employment averaged over 2010-12.
- Federal/State Government County: Federal and State government accounted for 14% or more of the county's earnings or 9% or more of the employment averaged over 2010-2012.
- Recreation County: Recreation designations were based on three measures.
- Percentage of wage and salary employment in entertainment and recreation, accommodations, eating and drinking places, and real estate as a percentage of all employment reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis;
- Percentage of total personal income reported for these same categories by the Bureau of Economic Analysis; and
- Percentage of vacant housing units intended for seasonal or occasional use reported in the 2010 Census
- Nonspecialized County: The county was not a farming, mining, manufacturing, government-dependent, or recreation county.
Given those definitions, Herkimer County was tagged by the USDA as a “Recreation County”.
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When it came to the policy-relevant typography of low education, low employment, persistent poverty, persistent child poverty, population loss, and retirement destination, none of these social characteristics met the minimum thresholds for the USDA when examining Herkimer County. That does NOT mean that these issues don’t exist or have serious consequences deserving of being addressed.
Methodologically, low-education (2008-12), low-employment (2008-12), persistent poverty (1980, 1990, 2000, 2007-11), persistent child poverty (1980, 1990, 2000, 2007-11), population loss (1990, 2000, and 2010), and retirement destination (2000 and 2010) classifications were all based on census data from the years in parentheses after their names. They were defined as follows.
- Low Education: At least 20% or more of the residents age 25 to 64 did not have a high school diploma or equivalent between 2008-12.
- Low Employment: Less than 65% of residents age 25-64 were employed in 2008-12
- Persistent Poverty: A county was classified as persistent poverty if 20 percent or more of its residents were poor as measured by the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses and the American Community Survey 5-year estimates for 2007-11.
- Persistent Child Poverty: A county was classified as persistent related child poverty if 20 percent or more of related children under 18 years old were poor as measured by the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses and the American Community Survey 5-year estimates for 2007-11. See the Census Bureau website
- Population Loss: Number of residents declined between the 1990 and 2000 censuses and also between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
- Retirement Destination: Number of resident 60 and older grew by 15 percent or more between 2000 and 2010.
In none of these cases did the data meet the thresholds set up by the USDA, hence Herkimer County was not tagged as having a predominance of these characteristics.