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(March 24, 2014)
Economic Diversity in Appalachia: New Study and Web Tool

A new study, commissioned by the Appalachian Regional Commission, analyzes economic diversity trends in Appalachian counties and sub-regions using four indexes of diversity: industrial, functional, occupational, and knowledge. The study also summarizes diversity trends, economic development practices, and diversification strategies in ten Appalachian counties, and offers general lessons about what diversity means for economic development practice. An accompanying Web-based tool includes data and maps along with interactive features for exploring diversity trends in Appalachia and in the United States as a whole.

The study comprises four documents: Statistics, Strategies, and Guides for Action, which summarizes the findings, metrics, and methodology of the study; Case Studies in Economic Diversification, which provides extensive narratives of the research conducted in the ten case study counties; Practitioner's Guide for Planning and Analysis with the Appalachian Economic Diversity Web Tool; and Statistical Portrait of Economic Diversity in Appalachia, which provides additional details and analysis of the diversity metrics.

The Appalachian Economic Diversity Web Tool is available at

Economic Diversity in Appalachia: Compilation of All Documents (PDF: 6 MB)