The Christian Science Monitor’s Patchwork Nation project has grouped every US county into one of eleven community types and is following how the political climate develops during the presidential campaign in representative communities. more on the 11 community types below
Patchwork Nation consists of America’s 3,142 counties, divided into 11 community types on the basis of certain demographic characteristics, such as income level or racial composition.
Midsize cities and smaller towns with well-balanced economies of affluence, education, and professional employment; growing ethnic diversity, some retired elderly with high incomes.
High levels of employment in military or related government employment; often adjacent to major military installations, private military contractors, or have a history of military-dependent economies; middle income, transient, younger populations, with some trade and service workers in the local economy.
High percentage of the population between 18-34, few retirees or elderly; includes university/college towns and locations with high employment in education and educational services; high levels of formal education; religious diversity, secularism.
Lower-income counties with large proportions of African-Americans and native Americans on Indian reservations; low population growth or steady population losses, high unemployment and poverty; low-end housing stock; African-American locales are concentrated within the Deep South.
Middle-income, retirement age; and baby-boom populations; presence of evangelical and mainline Protestants, fewer Catholics, stable but not booming economies.
High-income counties, with high professional employment and formal education; high expenditures by consumers on new vehicles, luxury goods, property taxes, and charitable giving; midsize in terms of population and population density, primarily within metro areas; family age populations, low density housing; predominantly white, but with some Asian-American presence.
Briskly growing small and midsize towns with family age populations; middle income with some affluent and poor; low incidence of mainline Protestant and Catholic churchgoers, higher incidence of evangelical adherents, particularly in the South and border states; Mormons in the West; some minority presence, chiefly blacks (in the South) and Latinos (in the West).
Midsize cities and smaller towns with very high percentages employed in trade and service businesses but not manufacturing or agriculture; many new residents, growing Latino populations; more Catholics and fewer Evangelicals or mainline Protestants.
High percentages of Latinos and Asians; immigrants living in midsize to larger cities; moderately high levels of unemployment; Roman Catholic with sprinkling of religious diversity; lower income with moderate to high percentage in poverty.
Predominantly white, smaller towns and more remote counties outside of metropolitan areas; low level of manufacturing employment, high levels of self-employment, employment in agriculture, as well as small-town retail and wholesale trade; Lutheran, Reformed, and mainline Protestant adherents predominate in the upper Midwest.