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Where is subprime?

Mapping the distribution of subprime borrowers by county

The “subprime credit population”—those with credit scores below 650—received much attention during and after the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Are these borrowers concentrated in certain areas or evenly distributed across the country? FRED’s county-level data from Equifax maps out the percentage of each county’s population that’s classified as subprime. The geographic disparities are quite large. At the high end, in Kenedy County, Texas, almost 56% of the population has a subprime credit score. At the low end, in Hooker County, Nebraska, only 3% of the population has a subprime credit score. Overall, the subprime population is more common in Southern states, but there are exceptions. Big Horn County, Montana, is 35% subprime, resembling Hardin County, Texas, and Marshall County, Tennessee. But some of Big Horn’s neighboring counties in Montana—for example, Carbon County (16%) and Yellowstone County (23%)—have much smaller subprime populations.

How this map was created: The original post referenced an interactive map from our now discontinued GeoFRED site. The revised post provides a replacement map from FRED’s new mapping tool. To create FRED maps, go to the data series page in question and look for the green “VIEW MAP” button at the top right of the graph. See this post for instructions to edit a FRED map. Only series with a green map button can be mapped.

Suggested by Guillaume Vandenbroucke.

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