industry diversity (via Shannon entropy) per US county

Ecologists use Shannon entropy to measure species diversity in a given region. Here I apply the same equation to determine industry diversity in each US county. In the map below, darker color indicates greater industrial diversity:


Downloaded the 2009 County Business Patterns data from the US Census Bureau and extracted the business establishment counts for each six-digit NAICS code for each county. Then, for each county, I computed the Shannon entropy from the establishment counts in each NAICS code. Finally, I partitioned the entropy values into nine distinct colors to fill in the map above.

Code implementing the above-described computations is available on the Badass Data Science wiki.


I used the Python mapping method detailed here.


Post Author: badassdatascience

5 thoughts on “industry diversity (via Shannon entropy) per US county


    (February 22, 2012 - 12:37 am)

    Just ran a regression on the 2009 county unemployment rates vs. the 2009 county industry diversity indices shown above. Found no correlation between the two.


    (June 14, 2012 - 7:59 pm)

    Might be the case, though, that there is a correlation between industry diversity and unemployment variability over time. Probably a negative correlation, because having all your eggs in one basket would make you more prone to boom and bust? But you’d need to repeat this analysis annually for a few years, or else go back in time. Meaning get data from further back in time, I mean.

    […] Several months ago I reported using an ecological species diversity equation to calculate a US county’s “industrial diversity”, producing the map shown below illustrating the degree of diversity of industries operating in each county. The computation method is detailed here. […]

    […] a previous post, I computed each U.S. county’s industrial diversity from the 2009 County Business Patterns […]

    […] diversity” index from the U.S. Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns (CBP) data (see The CBP dataset provides, for each NAICS industry code, the number of business establishments […]

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