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ABCD Counties – Definition

ABCD Counties Definition

In the United States, ABCD counties are counties that are classified based on census data provided by U.S Census Bureau. The categorization of counties with regard to their population strength gave birth to the concept of ABCD countries. While A counties are counties with the largest population in the United States, D counties have the smallest population.

The classification of counties in the U.S using the ABCD alphabets was developed by the Nielsen Corp. This method of classification uses the population strength of counties and their proximity to a metro area or anchor city. The classification is done in a period of 10 years and the data is used broadly in advertising and media activities.

A Little More on What are ABCD Counties

In the United States, every county is captured in the categorization of counties using population and proximity to an anchor city. There are 3,142 counties in the U.S and they are classified using data from the recent census done in the U.S. Cities that are not recognized as part of a country but stand alone for census reasons are also captured under the ABCD counties. Maryland, Missouri and Nevada have one each of cities not part of a country while the Commonwealth of Virginia has 38 of them.

Below is a highlight of the ABCD country classification system as devised by the Nielsen Corp.;

  • A County

Counties with over 20,000 households and located in any of the largest cities in the U.S are referred to as A counties. A counties make up to 40% of all the U.S households. They have the highest population and proximity to urban areas.

  • B County

B counties on the other hand have at least a number of 150,000 people making up their population. B countries account for 30% of the U.S households. A B country has about 85,000 or more households.

  • C County

A C country is located in any Metropolitan Statistical area with over 20,000 households. C countries sum up to over 15% of the households in the United States.

  • D County

This is the county with the lowest population and proximity to an urban area. D counties also account for about 15% of U.S households. These counties are rural places and totally out or urban regions.

Reference for “ABCD Counties”






Academic Research on ABCD Counties

War in the Pacific, Saofong, W. (1941). Free World, 1, 391. This paper explains how the economic position of the A.B.C.D Allies is superior to that of Japan since the Allies are able to hold the South Sea Islands. It also states that Japan imports 76% of its war materials from the US, Great Britain as well as the Dutch East Indies. There the article explains that it is not ideal that the A.B.C.D countries are bombarded with the same supplies they shipped to Japan.

The Cultural Roots of Japanese Neo-Mercantilism, Nester, W. R. (1990). In Japan’s Growing Power over East Asia and the World Economy: Ends and Means (pp. 125-138). Palgrave Macmillan, London. This article explains that the world view of a country is a reflection of its psycho-cultural norms which are dynamically shaped by certain forces such as language, history, geographic location as well as religion. These norms dictate how individuals interact and how the country interacts with others.

Migrant Labour and the Miferma Iron Ore Mine, Mauritania, Swindell, K. (1970). Manpower and Unemployment Research in Africa, 33-43. This is a preliminary investigation that was carried out in 1969 in Miferma iron ore mine in Mauritania to investigate the origins of manual workers using the context of distance and the type of region they came from, whether urban centers or rural areas, and whether they had skilled or unskilled jobs at the mine.

The Great Asian-Pacific Crescent of Pain: Japan’s War from Manchuria to Hiroshima, 1931 to 1945, Gruhl, W. (2017). Japanese War Crimes: The Search for Justice, 243-58. This paper investigates how the Asian Pacific war was traumatic to more than 700 million people who were on its path. The massacres of surrendering soldiers and civilians happened across the great Asian-Pacific crescent of pain. The paper centers on the fact that the Asia Pacific war was started in 1931 when Japan invaded Manchuria and then China proper.

Towards Becoming a” Normal Country”. The History Issue and Sino-Japanese Relations in the Koizumi Era, Szczepanska, K. (2007). This article presents a thesis that was aimed at determining how the problems arising from the unsettled wartime past between Japan and the People’s Republic of China influence the efforts of Japan to become a normal country. The article uses a nonexperimental study that is based which is based on secondary sources and furnished with findings derived from qualitative semistructured interviews.

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