We have developed a data set of changes in population and agricultural land for the conterminous United States at the county level, resulting in more spatial detail than in previously available compilations. The purpose was to provide data on the timing of land conversion as an input to dynamic models of the carbon cycle, although a wide variety of applications exist for the physical, biological, and social sciences. The spatial data represent the appropriate county boundaries for each census year between 1790 and 1997, and the census attributes are attached to the appropriate spatial region. The resulting time series and maps show the history of population (1790-1990) and the history of agricultural development (1850-1997). The patterns of agricultural development reflect the influences of climate, soil productivity, increases in population size, variations in the general economy, and technological changes in the energy, transportation, and agricultural sectors.
Additional Publication Details
Changes in population and agricultural land in conterminous United States counties, 1790 to 1997