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Distressed Counties

Distressed counties rank among the 10 percent most economically distressed counties in the nation. Each year, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) prepares an index of county economic status for every county in the United States. Economic status designations are identified through a composite measure of each county's three-year average unemployment rate, per capita market income, and poverty rate. Based on these indicators, each county is then categorized as distressed, at-risk, transitional, competitive or attainment.

The dashboard below illustrates the current economic status for all 95 counties in Tennessee as measured by the ARC.

The 11 distressed counties in Tennessee include: Lake, Lauderdale, Hardeman, Perry, Wayne, Clay, Grundy, Bledsoe, Scott, Hancock, and Cocke.

Long-Term Objectives:

  • Tennessee will reduce the number of economically distressed counties to 10 by 2025.
  • Tennessee will achieve annual improvement in county economic status ranking in 70% of rural counties.