Rural Economic Dashboard

Tennessee uses the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) index-based county economic classification system as one metric for tracking progress in rural communities. The ARC system designates each county as distressed, at-risk, transitional, competitive, or attainment by comparing each county's averages for three economic indicators—three-year average unemployment rate, per capita market income, and poverty rate—with national averages. Ensuring annual improvement in the status of rural counties and reducing the number of distressed counties in Tennessee are key long-term objectives for Governor Bill Lee and the Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD). Other departments tailor programs to the specific needs of communities by using ARC classifications.