Category: Regional industries and economies

Overview: The U.S. Cluster Mapping Project is an effort of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School, funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The project aims to provide policymakers and development practitioners with data and tools to assess regional cluster strengths, business environment characteristics, and innovation assets; with case studies on and toolkits for formulating development strategies; and with a directory profiling active cluster initiatives throughout the country. The project’s tools are in beta format, under development.

Unit of Analysis: Cluster

Coverage and Size: 41 clusters currently, with plans to map the entire U.S.

Form: Interactive data tools based on industrial clusters, generating aggregate data tables and maps

Key Data Elements:

  • Each region’s clusters: specialization, employment, wages, job creation, patents
  • Comparisons of clusters across the U.S.
  • Overall regional economic performance (performance indicators, patents, jobs, wages)
  • Characteristics of cluster initiatives

Timeframe: Annual economic data from 1998 to 2010

Frequency: Updated when new underlying data becomes available. Core industrial data for clusters typically becomes available each year in June or July.

Method: Clusters are defined by creating a grouping of standard industry codes, using employment linkages across geographies. Underlying data source is the Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns.

Access: Free

Potential Uses for Regional Analysis: Detailed identification of a region’s economic structure. Systematic comparison across regions. As cluster category definitions are standardized, they are most useful when looking across all regions.

For Additional Information:

  • Website: U.S. Cluster Mapping
  • Contacts:
    • Rich Bryden (rbryden@hbs.edu)
    • Samantha Zyontz (szyontz@hbs.edu)
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