Brief The Location of Economic Development Administration Grants
EDA Program Evaluation
Brett Theodos, Christopher Davis, Daniel Teles, Christina Plerhoples Stacy, Tanay Nunna, Jonathan Schwabish
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The US Economic Development Administration (EDA) supports regional economic development through investments in areas such as planning, infrastructure, small-business lending, and technical assistance to state and local governments and nonprofit organizations. This brief provides an overview of the locations of EDA grants over the last decade (2010–2021) and describes the areas that receive those grants. We describe the geographic eligibility criteria for EDA programs that limit or encourage where those programs are implemented. We then present the results of our analyses that examine the characteristics of places that receive EDA investment and the distribution of EDA investments across state, metropolitan area, urban and rural, and economic development district designations

Our analysis reveals the following:

  • Based on the locations of EDA projects, rural communities—specifically, areas that are not in a Census Bureau–defined urban area—receive the most per capita funding at $37 per person. Urban areas receive $13 per person.
  • Less populous states, including Alaska, Maine, Iowa, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming, received higher total EDA project investment per capita. (Total investment refers to EDA funding and matching funding provided by grantees.)
  • EDA investment is much more likely, on a per capita basis, to be located in an area covered by an EDD than in an area that is not.
  • Places that receive EDA funding tend to have higher levels of need—such as higher poverty rates or lower median incomes—than areas that do not.
Tags Community and economic development
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center
Research Methods Data analysis
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