By Jeanna Baxter White
Davie County has the 17th strongest economy out of the 100 counties in North Carolina, for the second year in a row, according to the 2020 North Carolina Development Tier Designation report issued by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
“We have a lot to be proud of in our community,” said Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission. “This is another example of how we are stronger together and how we are continuing to make a difference.”
Since 2007, North Carolina has used a three-level system for designating development tiers. The designations, which are mandated by state law, are incorporated into certain state development programs to encourage economic activity in all 100 counties of the state.
How Tier Rankings Are Calculated
The Development Tier Designation statute (§143B-437.08) provides specific guidelines for calculating annual tier rankings. This process assigns each county to a designation of Tier One (most distressed), Tier Two, or Tier Three (least distressed). Assuming no ties in rankings, the statute requires 40 Tier One, 40 Tier Two, and 20 Tier Three counties each year. In the event of a tie for the final position as a Tier One or Tier Two county, both counties will be placed in the lower tier.
Tier Rankings use Four Factors
- Average unemployment rate for the most recent twelve months for which data are available (November 2018 – October 2019, NC Dept. of Commerce, LAUS)
- Median household income for the most recent twelve months for which data are available (2017, U.S. Census, Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates)
- Percentage growth in population for the most recent 36 months for which data are available (July 2015 – July 2018, NC Office of State Budget & Management)
- Adjusted property tax base per capita for the most recent taxable year (FY 2019-20, NC Dept. of Public Instruction)
Each county is ranked from 1 to 100 on each variable, making the highest possible county rank sum 400, and the lowest 4. After calculating the county rank sum, counties are then ranked from most distressed (1) to least distressed (100) in order to determine their economic distress rank.
Davie County’s Rankings
Davie County received a Tier Three designation again this year with a county rank sum of 307 out of 400.
- Davie County ranks 8th for the lowest unemployment at 3.51%. The North Carolina state average is 3.99%. Unemployment from November 2018 – October 2019 ranged from 3.05% in Buncombe County to 8.24% in Hyde County.
- Davie ranks 12th for median household income at $58,147, which exceeds the state average of $52,797. The highest median household income was $77,875 in Union County while the lowest was $33,022 in Bertie County.
- Davie County ranks 35th for population growth with an increase of 3.25% between July 2-15-July 2018. The state average for growth was 3.58%. The highest increase was in Brunswick County at 11.50% while Washington County had the greatest decrease at -2.99%.
- Davie County ranks 43rd for adjusted property tax base per capita at $108,094 which is slightly below the state average of $109,067. The highest was Dare County at $389,059 and the lowest was Robeson County at $51,236.
The full report can be viewed at https://files.nc.gov/nccommerce/documents/files/2020-Tiers-memo_asPublished.pdf