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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: From GeoFRED, select county-level data and choose “Equifax Subprime Credit Population” in the drop-down menu.

Suggested by Guillaume Vandenbroucke.



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