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County Definitions

County Definitions

December 6, 2022

The county definitions and county-equivalent definitions used in the Woods & Poole database are defined by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA.)  In New England, counties were created by summing townships and creating county-equivalent areas.  Parishes in Louisiana, Boroughs in Alaska, and Independent Cities in Maryland, Missouri, and Nevada are called counties in the Woods & Poole database.  In some states, notably Virginia, counties exist with independent cities.  In cases where boundaries between counties and independent cities (or counties and other counties) have changed since 1969, new county groups are created to maintain the consistency of the historical data.  All of the historical data for all of the disaggregated counties are estimated.

Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Codes are defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to give numeric “names” to geographic areas such as states and counties.  Each state has a two-digit FIPS code (Alabama is 01 and Wyoming is 56) and counties have five-digit codes with the first two digits being the state code:  Autauga AL is 01001 and Weston WY is 56045.