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Environment indicators describe the state of the environment and its impact on human health and ecosystems and provide natural and cultural assets. The indicators examine environmental issues, including natural environment condition, risks of natural hazards, endangered species, and historic places. 

What does this measure?
  • Land Cover: The relative change between land cover categories across a time period and types of land cover as a percentage of the areas.
  • Environmental Quality: Environmental quality index in five domains: air, water, land, built, and sociodemographic environments.
  • Natural Hazards: A risk index representing the potential for negative impacts resulting from natural hazards, along with annual economic loss, social vulnerability, and community resilience. 
  • Endangered Species: A list of rare, threatened, and endangered species with their federal status, state status, and state wildlife action plan (SWAP).
  • Historic Places: A list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation for their historical significance.
Why is this important?

The environment is important to socioeconomic matters such as healthy living, leisure, and tourism. By understanding the value of the environment, communities will recognize the importance of living in harmony with it and decision-makers will understand which policies can induce the desired human actions in relation to the environment.

Data Notes

The data and analysis that are featured on “Environment” use first-party data, where possible in order to minimize potential variations between data points, and to offer more reliable comparison across counties. The data sources are from Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), and National Park Service.

Complete definitions for terms and data sources that are used for Environment can be found in Glossary of Terms and Data Sources pages.