These 196 counties generally lie on the fringe of major metro areas, in the space between suburban and rural America — with some more densely settled places and some sparser areas.
People residing in the Exurbs are among the most educated in the American Communities Project (ACP), with 36% of the population holding a bachelor’s degree. The wealth in these communities extends to children as well, affording a child poverty rate of 11%, which is 6 points lower than the national average. Broadband access is 90%, one of the highest rates in the ACP. Living on the outskirts of metro areas, many residents tend to have lengthy, solo commutes — 5 percent more on average than the rest of the nation. Access to physicians is slightly below average here, with an additional 386 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.