Demographic Diversity and Economic Change in Appalachia

Author(s): Diane McLaughlin, Daniel T. Lichter, and Stephen A. Matthews with the assistance of Glynis Daniels and James Cameron
Author Organization(s): Pennsylvania State University

This report provides a picture of demographic diversity and economic change in Appalachia from 1980 through 1996. In 1996, the Region included nearly 22 million people from 399 counties in 13 different states. Two hundred and ninety of Appalachia’s counties were classified as non-metropolitan in 1993; the remaining 109 were metropolitan. The analysis centers on spatial differences in several key dimensions of well-being: population distribution and composition; population change and migration; education, family structure, income and poverty; and employment and labor force characteristics and projections. To portray the spatial diversity in Appalachia, the analysis uses three different classifications of counties: the three Appalachian sub-regions; the distribution of counties along the Rural-Urban Continuum (the so-called Beale County Code); and the Appalachian Regional Commission’s 1998 Distressed County Code.