The Economic Hardship Index (EHI) provides a comprehensive measure of economic conditions using six socioeconomic indicators from the 2014 5-Year American Community Survey (ACS) data:

1. Unemployment

Percent of civilian population over the age of 16 and unemployed

2. Dependency

Percent of population under the age of 18 or over the age of 64

3. Lack of Education

Percent of population over 25 with less than a high school education

4. Lack of Adequate Income

Per capita income

5. Crowded Housing

Percent of occupied housing units with more than one person per room

6. Below Poverty Level

Percent of population living below the federal poverty line

Within each county, census-tract level estimates of these six indicators were standardized to give them equal weight then combined into a composite index. The index score represents the average of the six standardized indicators and ranges from 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating worse economic conditions.