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“Tiers” refer to the N.C. Dep’t of Commerce system of dividing counties into tiers based upon wealth. The tiers help determine eligibility for community development and other funding. The forty most distressed counties comprise Tier 1, the next forty are Tier 2, and the twenty wealthiest counties are Tier 3. These tiers are based upon the 2012 distribution.

North Carolina counties are also divided into regional councils of government (COG) which are partly responsible for administering the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The charts list the seventeen original councils of government before the Northeast Piedmont and Piedmont Triad councils merged.

“Region” refers to the Piedmont, Coastal Plain, and Mountain regions of the state. “Economic Development Region” refers to the seven economic development regions recognized by the state department of commerce.

Clusters are groups of contiguous census blocks where at least 75% of the population self-identified as some race other than white only, or identified as Latino. Only clusters with a population of more than 25 people are included. Unincorporated clusters near municipalities are those that are within 1/10 of a mile of municipal boundaries, but are less than 50% inside of those boundaries.

“All census blocks near municipalities” includes all census blocks that are within one tenth of a mile of a municipality and are less than 50% incorporated. These comparison census blocks include only those blocks that are each individually within a tenth of a mile and less than 50% incorporated, as opposed to the unincorporated clusters near municipalities, where only the cluster as a whole is within a tenth of a mile and less than 50% incorporated. Each census block contained within a potentially underbounded cluster may not individually meet those requirements; they may be more than 50% incorporated or over a tenth of a mile from a municipality, as long as they are part of a cluster of census blocks that meets the requirements overall.

In order to compare the impact on clusters with the general population, the charts list both population and the exposure rate for each group. In the columns on the right side of the chart, the table presents population numbers and rates for unincorporated clusters near a municipality (potentially underbounded clusters) and “all census blocks near municipalities” for comparison.

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