Patchwork Nation project director Dante Chinni answers your questions about how funds from President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package are making their way across the country and about the Patchwork Nation reporting project itself.
What are the categories of places in your research? I think you said 12. Could you give me a thumbnail sketch of each? I looked at your analyses during the election, and wanted more!
Dante Chinni answers:
Thanks much for the kind words Professor Fenno.
I do get
around to a lot of communities. I cover
12, one representing each of our types, and I have been to
all of them several times. You can see all of them and the
map of their locations here. Please feel free to click around investigate.
If you want to talk more specifically about research, you can reach me directly
As for a
quick summary of the types. Here's a rundown:
Boom Towns -
405 counties, 61 million people - Relatively wealthy locales that were growing
and seeing increasing minority populations before the economic crash.
Careers - 67 counties, 12.5 million people - Younger places with lots of
college students and high numbers of people just starting their post-grad
careers and lives.
Nests - 248 counties, 12 million people - Older-than-average communities with lots of boomers and retirees. Less diverse
than the nation at large and lots of fixed incomes.
Epicenters - 471 counties, 14.5 million people - Places filled with young
families and lots of evangelical Christians and with a median income below the
Nation - 210 counties, 21 million people - Based primarily in the Southwest these places
have large Hispanic populations, lower-than-average incomes and higher-than-average poverty.
Metropolis - 41 counties, 54 million people - Home to the nation's big
industrial cities, they are densely packed, younger and more diverse than the
Bastions - 57 counties, 8.5 million people - Located near the nation's military
and reserve bases, these middle-income locales are full of soldiers, vets and
their families, and they tend to be religious.
Central - 362 counties, 13.5 million people - Large populations of African-Americans and Native
Americans as well as lower incomes and higher poverty rates.
Burbs - 287 counties, 69 million people - Places with higher-than-average
levels of household income and educational attainment, they tend to be closely
split in presidential races.
Mormon Ourposts - 67 counties, 2 million
people - Located primarily in the Mountain West, these places have very high
numbers of LDS adherents and are often rural and sparsely populated.
Worker Centers - 640 counties, 30 million people - Tourist centers or midsized
towns where many people live on the margins and without benefits, also slightly
older than average.
Country - 287 counties, 2 million people - The sparsely populated agricultural "heartland,"
these places are white, rural and remote, with farms and agri-business as a key