The data in this series of studies were collected by an interdisciplinary research team led by Myron Gutmann of the University of Michigan between 1995 and 2004, as part of a research project funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Grant Number R01 HD33445 to the University of Michigan). The goal of the project was to collect information about approximately 500 counties in twelve states of the Great Plains of the United States, and then to analyze those data in order to understand the relationships between population and environment that existed between the years of about 1870 and 2000.
The data distributed here are all data about counties. They fall into four broad categories: about the counties, about agriculture, about demographic and social conditions, and about the environment. The information about counties (name, area, identification code, and whether we classified the county as part of the Great Plains in a given year) are embedded in each of the other data files, so that there will be three series of data (agriculture, demographic and social conditions, and environment), with individual data files for each year for which data are available.