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Rural Investments in Socially Vulnerable Communities

Rural Development finances investments that help communities thrive and become more resilient when confronted with adversity. A community’s ability to respond to disasters, health emergencies and other challenges depends in part on individual and communal resources and capacities. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has developed a Social Vulnerability Index based upon 16 social factors, including among others, poverty, unemployment, housing cost burden, education, health insurance, age, racial and ethnic minority status, housing type and crowding, and vehicle access. The index data is used in the dashboards below to identify Socially Vulnerable counties within the U.S. The dashboards indicate the amount and percentage of Rural Development financing these counties received from fiscal year 2012 to 2024, providing a closer look into how RD is supporting communities in need. Totals do not include Electric and Telecommunications program investment, because these investments often serve multiple census tracts and counties and cannot be apportioned by community.

To view Electric and Telecom investments at the state level, and for information about the presentation of investment data in the territories and freely associated states, please see the Overview page.

Please see our About the Data Guide if you have data-related questions. To learn about dashboard navigation and use, please view this Quick Reference Guide. More information about the Social Vulnerability Index can be found on the CDC website.

For other assistance with the dashboards and/or help interpreting the data, please email us at USDA.RD.DATA@usda.gov