Headwaters Economics

Bureau of Land Management Socioeconomic Profiles

About the BLM Socioeconomic Profile Tool

What is the Bureau of Land Management Socioeconomic Profile tool?

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Socioeconomic Profile (SEP) tool is a free, web-based tool created by Headwaters Economics that provides an overview of demographic and economic conditions in counties and states near BLM field offices and National Conservation Land units.

Users can explore local data on economics, demographics, land use, economic sectors, and other topics. Each topic includes a summary of relevant data along with a description of the socioeconomic characteristics described in the section and a discussion of how to use the characteristics to understand an area including the relationship to BLM-managed lands.

The SEP tool is based on reports from two previously-developed tools: the Economic Profile System (EPS) and Populations at Risk (PAR).

EPS and PAR use data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, and other credible public sources. These tools are used by federal land managers, state and local elected officials, planners, city managers, journalists, and researchers in many fields.

What is the purpose of the tool?

The BLM Socioeconomic Profile (SEP) tool delivers an easily understood report that provides an overview of demographic and economic conditions using indicators relevant to public land management. The reporting tool is free and delivers county-level socioeconomic indicators that are defensible (accurate, relevant, and reliable) and establish appropriate context for evaluating the relationship between activities authorized on BLM-managed land and surrounding communities.

This report has a variety of uses for a wide range of audiences. For example:

  • BLM staff can use these reports to facilitate the development of socioeconomic baselines for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents.
  • These reports can help facilitate community engagement between the BLM, surrounding communities, and stakeholders with the goal of improving the BLM’s and the public’s understanding of baseline socioeconomic conditions.
  • As an educational tool for BLM staff, local community members, public land stakeholders, and other members of the public to learn about the economic and demographic conditions near BLM-managed lands.

Agency staff and members of the public can use the tool to run consistent reports over time, and track changes on individual or multiple BLM units.

What is the geographic scope?

The reports are available for BLM field offices and National Conservation Land units (limited to National Monuments (NM) and National Conservation Areas and Similar Designations (NCAs)) in the contiguous United States and Alaska.

The reports contain county-level data. When the tool is used to generate a report for a BLM unit, the output report contains data for each individual county associated with the unit as well as aggregate data for the group of counties. The default list of counties associated with each BLM unit is based primarily on geographic overlap. In many cases, the BLM unit overlaps with a portion of a county – data for the whole county are included in these cases.

A primary advantage of the SEP tool is standardized analysis using continuously updated data for preset areas for the available BLM units. With the tool’s user interface, agency staff and other users can quickly reference their BLM unit(s) of interest and run reports that are spatially relevant, without any requirement to identify administrative boundaries or socioeconomic geographies. The preset counties also are easy to modify using the tool’s user interface. For example, counties can be added or removed from the default list.

Reports specific to National Conservation Land designations of National Scenic and Historic Trails, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Wilderness, and Wilderness Study Areas are not available. Additionally, the tool does not provide users with the option of selecting BLM district offices since many of the district-level reports would contain a large number of counties making the report less useful. To obtain information for BLM district offices, users should run reports for individual field offices or build a report by modifying the counties to be included.

How much does it cost to use the Bureau of Land Management Socioeconomic Profile tool?

The reporting tool is free to use. With the BLM, Headwaters Economics developed the BLM Socioeconomic Profile tool to improve agency and public access to high-quality socioeconomic data. The BLM, US Forest Service, the Kresge Foundation, and the Kendeda Fund provide financial support for Headwaters Economics’ suite of socioeconomic tools.

How often is the Bureau of Land Management Socioeconomic Profile tool updated?

Headwaters Economics processes newly released datasets continuously. The latest available numbers are reflected in Bureau of Land Management Socioeconomic Profile reports within a maximum of 90 days after publication by each individual data source. There are multiple data sources in Bureau of Land Management Socioeconomic Profiles, each with a different update schedule. This page shows the update frequency and timing per data source.

What does Headwaters Economics do to “process” data from the original sources?

For all data sources, Headwaters Economics downloads the data from publicly available sites, standardizes geography codes, adjusts dollar values for inflation, and optimizes table formats for use in the profiles.
Beyond adjusting for inflation, Headwaters Economics fills gaps for Bureau of Economic Analysis data when the data are withheld to avoid the disclosure of potentially confidential information. Headwaters Economics’ estimates indicated with tildes (~) in the BLM Socioeconomic Profiles. For detailed methods on data estimates, see: Filling Data Gaps in Regional Economic Accounts (REA, Bureau of Economic Analysis, 0.7MB PDF).

How should I cite data from Bureau of Land Management Socioeconomic Profile reports?

Headwaters Economics recommends that you cite data from Bureau of Land Management Socioeconomic Profile reports using the citation provided at the bottom of each Data and Graphics page within the report. For example: U.S. Department of Commerce. 2018. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Office, Washington, D.C.

More Socioeconomic Reporting Tools


For more economic and demographic reports, try the Economic Profile System (EPS).

Economic Profile System >>


Detailed reports on at-risk populations are also available.

Populations at Risk >>