Community Snapshot

These 222 counties generally lie on the fringe of major metro areas, in the space between suburban and rural America — with some more densely settled areas and some sparser areas.

People residing in the Exurbs are among the most educated in the American Communities Project (ACP), with about 37% of the population holding a bachelor’s degree. The wealth in these communities extends to children as well, affording a child poverty rate that is roughly two thirds of the national average. These communities are relatively safe places to live, with violent crime rates averaging 165 reported violent crimes per 100,000 people, less than half the national average. Located on the outskirts of metro areas, many people in the Exurbs tend to have lengthy, solo commutes—9 percentage points more on average than the rest of the nation. Access to physicians is slightly below average here, with an additional 700 people per primary care physician compared to the U.S. as a whole. Mental health providers are even more scarce, with more than twice as many people per provider than the rest of the country.

Mental health access

790:1 People per provider

Ratio of population to mental health providers

Vol. 3 2020-2021

Deaths of Despair Across America

The American Communities Project is undertaking a 30-month study of Deaths of Despair in its 15 community types.

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