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USDA unveils rural mapping Atlas

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is giving citizens a new way to access a host of county-level data.

The Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America is an online mapping tool that captures more than 60 statistical indicators encompassing demographic, economic and agricultural data from across the U.S. By releasing the county-level data, the USDA hopes to spur additional economic development.

According to Secretary Tom Vilsack, the project is a part of a “broad USDA initiative to
make relevant data easily accessible” to the public, researchers, journalists, public officials and other professionals. He also added that “the new Atlas will help policy makers pinpoint the needs of particular regions, recognize their diversity and build on their assets.”

In building the new tool, the USDA’s Economic Research Service relied on statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the USDA and other federal agencies. The data is combined in four categories that users can select: demographic profile, conditions and trends affecting the labour force, indicators of farm structure and the well-being of farm households and ERS county classifications based on the rural-urban continuum, economic structure and other key locational features.

Source: Iowa Independent