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Mapping "The Hunger Games": Using location quotients to find the Districts of Panem.

Elizabeth Cross | February 2017

"...Panem, the country that rose up out of the ashes of a place that was once called North America. "-The Hunger Games (Scholastic Press)

In The Hunger Games, author Suzanne Collins never reveals the exact locations of the Districts of Panem. What if you could map them by using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)?

Fans of the popular The Hunger Games trilogy know that the stories are set in Panem, a futuristic area previously called North America, with a capital located somewhere in what was known as the Rockies. Panem is divided into districts, each of which has a primary industry. BLS employment data can help you solve the puzzle of where in North America those districts would be.

Keep reading to learn how to use BLS data to identify 12 districts of Panem. Because BLS data cover the United States, this article uses clues from U.S. locations rather than from North America as a whole.

Finding data: Total employment and location quotients

Each district's primary industry offers the best evidence of its geographic location. To find where an industry has a high concentration of workers, look at employment data by industry and occupation. Industry employment data tell you how many workers are in a particular type of firm or group of firms; occupation employment data tell you how many workers do a similar set of tasks.

Two BLS sources of employment data that will help in your analysis are the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) and the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) programs. QCEW data show industry employment and are provided here at the county level. OES data for occupation employment are shown here for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan statistical areas.

Total employment Total employment can show you where lots of workers are in an industry or occupation. But the total number employed also may highlight areas where there are a lot of workers in every industry or occupation, such as large cities. Identifying a large number of workers doesn't give you enough information for locating the districts.

Instead, you want to find where there are high concentrations of workers in a particular industry or occupation compared with the nation as a whole. For that, you'll need the location quotient.

Location quotient The location quotient is a ratio of the percentage of workers in an industry or occupation in a certain area to the percentage of workers in that industry or occupation nationally. A location quotient greater than 1.0 indicates a higher-than-average concentration for an industry or occupation.

For example, according to the 2015 OES estimates, actors make up .0367 percent of national employment. However, more than one-third of all actor employment is concentrated in California and makes up .1103 percent of that state's total employment. To calculate the location quotient for actors in California, you divide the percentage of the occupation's employment in California (.1103) by the percentage of employment nationally (.0367) to get a ratio of 3.01--indicating a higher-than-average concentration of actors in California. (See illustration.)

Finding District 12: Coal mining

"Even hundreds of years ago, they mined coal here."--The Hunger Games

To use data to find the districts of Panem, you'll need to look for areas with the highest location quotients for the industries and occupations associated with each district. Begin with the district in which Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist of The Hunger Games, lived.

Industry location quotients. Using QCEW annual averages for 2015. chart 1 ranks the counties with the highest location quotients for the coal mining industry. Mingo County, West Virginia, had the highest location quotient.

In the United States, there were 64,135 workers in the coal mining industry out of 139,491,699 total workers, or about .05 percent. In Mingo County, there were 1,216 workers in the coal mining industry out of 5,563 total workers. Thus, (1,216/5,563) x 100 percent, or about 22 percent, of the workers in Mingo County were employed in coal mining.

To get the location quotient, divide the percentage of workers in coal mining in Mingo County (22) by the percentage nationally (.05). The result is a ratio of 440. (The data used to calculate this number were rounded to simplify the math, so the value shown here differs from the value shown in chart 1.) In other words, Mingo County has more than 400 times the concentration of coal mining employment nationally.

Mapping the industry location quotients shows a concentration of coal mining in an area that encompasses Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. (See map.)

Occupation location quotients. In addition to using industry data to see where coal mining employment is concentrated, you can use occupation data to search for District 12. Occupation employment in the coal mining industry helps you find the occupation in which that industry is the largest employer.

As table 1 shows, nearly all mine shuttle car operators worked in the coal mining industry in 2015. Mine shuttle car operators use shuttle cars to transport materials in underground mines. Location quotients for mine shuttle car operators are a good indicator of where mining activity is concentrated.

Using the 2015 PES estimates, chart 2 ranks the metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas with the highest location quotients for mine shuttle car operators. With a location quotient of 163.50, the Southern West Virginia nonmetropolitan area had the highest location quotient for mine shuttle car operators. This nonmetropolitan area comprises many counties, including Mingo County.

Conclusion. On the basis of statistical evidence, District 12 is most likely located in an area comprising parts of Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. This tristate area is where employment in the coal mining industry and its associated occupations are concentrated.

Finding other districts: Your turn

Every district of Panem has a dominant industry. Profiles for each district use QCEW and OES data; links to these industry profiles for each district are given below. The data may provide clues, but results are open to interpretation. Using these data, create your own map of Panem.

"And may the odds be ever In your favor. "-The Hunger Games

District 1

Luxury goods

Note: The North American Industry Classification System groups this industry under "other miscellaneous manufacturing."

District 2

Rock quarrying

Note: The North American Industry Classification System groups this industry under "nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying."

District 3

Electronic goods manufacturing

Note: The North American Industry Classification System groups this industry under "computer and electronic product manufacturing."

District 4

Fishing

Note : The OES survey excludes most of the agricultural sector, with the exception of logging, support activities for crop production, and support activities for animal production. The OES survey does not include the fishing industry; therefore, occupation location quotients cannot be calculated.

District 5

Power generation

Note: The North American Industry Classification System groups this industry under "electric power generation, transmission and distribution."

District 6

Transportation manufacturing

Note: The North American Industry Classification System groups this industry under "aerospace product and parts manufacturing."

District 7

Lumber

Note: The North American Industry Classification System groups this industry under "wood product manufacturing."

District 8

Textiles

Note: The North American Industry Classification System groups this industry under "fabric mills."

District 9

Grain

Note: The North American Industry Classification System groups this industry under "oilseed and grain farming." The OES survey excludes most of the agricultural sector, with the exception of logging, support activities for crop production, and support activities for animal production. The OES survey does not include the oilseed and grain farming industry; therefore, occupation location quotients cannot be calculated.

District 10

Livestock

Note: The North American Industry Classification System groups this industry under "animal production and aquaculture." The OES survey excludes most of the agricultural sector, with the exception of logging, support activities for crop production, and support activities for animal production. The OES survey does not include the animal production and aquaculture industry; therefore, occupation location quotients cannot be calculated.

District 11

Crops

Note: The North American Industry Classification System groups this industry under "fruit and tree nut farming." The OES survey excludes most of the agricultural sector, with the exception of logging, support activities for crop production, and support activities for animal production. The OES survey does not include the fruit and tree nut farming industry; therefore, occupation location quotients cannot be calculated.

District 12

Coal mining

Elizabeth Cross is an economist in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, BLS. She can be reached at cross.elizabeth@bls.gov.

Do the math!

There are 50,570 actors in the United States out of 137,896,660 total employees, or

[[[50.570/137,896,660] x 100%] = .0367%]

In California, there are 17,090 actors out of 15,196,600 employees, or

[[[17,090/15,496,600] x 100%] = .1103%]

The location quotient for actors in California is calculated by dividing the percentage in California by the percentage in the United States:

[[.1103%/.0367%]=3.01]

Table 1. Occupations in which the coal mining industry is the largest
employer, 2015

Occupation                    Percent of occupation  Total
                              in coal mining         employment

Mine shuttle car operators    93.5                   2,310
Roof bolters, mining          93.1                   5,220
Loading machine operators,    60.7                   3,210
underground mining

Occupation                    Employment in coal
                              mining

Mine shuttle car operators    2,160
Roof bolters, mining          4,860
Loading machine operators,    1,950
underground mining

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment
Statistics.

Table 2. Occupations in which the other miscellaneous manufacturing
industry is a large employer, 2015

Occupation                   Percent of occupation in other  Total
                             miscellaneous manufacturing     employment

Jewelers and precious stone  28.3                            25,270
and metal workers
Etchers and engravers        15.8                             9,490
Painting, coating, and       14.3                            16,020
decorating workers

Occupation                   Employment in other
                             miscellaneous
                             manufacturing

Jewelers and precious stone  7,160
and metal workers
Etchers and engravers        1,500
Painting, coating, and       2,290
decorating workers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment
Statistics.

Table 3. Occupations in which the nonmetallic mineral mining and
quarrying industry is the largest employer, 2015

Occupation                           Percent of occupation in
                                     nonmetallic mineral mining and
                                     quarrying

Rock splitters, quarry               80.5
Dredge operators                     46.5
Crushing, grinding, and polishing
machine setters, operators, and      12.2
tenders

Occupation                           Total       Employment in
                                     employment  nonmetallic mineral
                                                 mining and quarrying

Rock splitters, quarry                3,790       3,050
Dredge operators                      1,850         860
Crushing, grinding, and polishing
machine setters, operators, and      31,140       3,800
tenders

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment
Statistics.

Table 4. Occupations in which the computer and electronic product
industry is the largest employer, 2015

Occupation                   Percent of occupation in  Total
                             computer and electronic   employment
                             product smanufacturing

Semiconductor                93.1                       24,230
processors
Timing device                46.2                        1,190
assemblers and
adjusters
Electrical and electronic    45.8                      212,170
equipment assemblers
Computer hardware            37.4                       75,870
engineers
Electromechanical            30.3                       46,400
equipment assemblers
Electrical and electronics   27.3                      139,080
engineering technicians
Electro-mechanical           26.8                       14,720
technicians
Industrial engineering       20.4                       62,290
technicians

Occupation                   Employment in computer
                             and electronic products
                             manufacturing

Semiconductor                22,570
processors
Timing device                   550
assemblers and
adjusters
Electrical and electronic    97,200
equipment assemblers
Computer hardware            28,370
engineers
Electromechanical            14,060
equipment assemblers
Electrical and electronics   38,010
engineering technicians
Electro-mechanical            3,950
technicians
Industrial engineering       12,730
technicians

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment
Statistics.

Table 5. Selected occupations in which the electric power generation,
transmission and distribution industry is the largest employer, 2015

Occupation                         Percent of occupation in electric
                                   power generation, transmission
                                   and distribution

Power plant operators              70.0
Electrical and electronics
repairers, powerhouse,             65.3
substation, and relay
Nuclear technicians                64.9
Power distributors and             61.3
dispatchers
Electrical power-line installers   48.8
and repairers
Nuclear engineers                  43.0

Occupation                         Total       Employment in electric
                                   employment  power generation,
                                               transmission and
                                               distribution

Power plant operators               37,510      26,240
Electrical and electronics
repairers, powerhouse,              23,070      15,060
substation, and relay
Nuclear technicians                  6,500       4,220
Power distributors and              11,540       7,070
dispatchers
Electrical power-line installers   115,380      56,270
and repairers
Nuclear engineers                   16,880       7,250

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment
Statistics.

Table 6. Occupations in which the aerospace product and parts
manufacturing industry is the largest employer, 2015

Occupation                     Percent of occupation in  Total
                               aerospace product and     employment
                               parts manufacturing

Aircraft structure, surfaces,
rigging, and systems           91.4                      42,810
assemblers
Aerospace engineers            40.1                      66,980
Aerospace engineering and      33.7                      12,890
operations technicians
Avionics technicians           30.5                      17,340
Materials engineers            13.1                      27,040
Industrial engineers            8.3                     247,570

Occupation                     Employment in
                               aerospace product and
                               parts manufacturing

Aircraft structure, surfaces,
rigging, and systems           39,110
assemblers
Aerospace engineers            26,840
Aerospace engineering and       4,340
operations technicians
Avionics technicians            5,290
Materials engineers             3,530
Industrial engineers           20,470

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment
Statistics.

Table 7. Occupations in which the wood product manufacturing industry
is the largest employer, 2015

Occupation                               Percent of occupation in wood
                                         product manufacturing

Sawing machine setters, operators, and   77.1
tenders, wood
Log graders and scalers                  75.2
Woodworking machine setters,             64.5
operators, and tenders, except sawing
Woodworkers, all other                   42.8

Occupation                               Total       Employment in wood
                                         employment  product
                                                     manufacturing

Sawing machine setters, operators, and   48,600      37,470
tenders, wood
Log graders and scalers                   2,740       2,060
Woodworking machine setters,             75,540      48,760
operators, and tenders, except sawing
Woodworkers, all other                    6,900       2,950

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment
Statistics.

Table 8. Occupations in which the fabric mills industry is a large
employer, 2015

Occupation                                     Percent of occupation
                                               in fabric mills

Textile knitting and weaving machine setters,  60.2
operators, and tenders
Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out
machine setters, operators, and tenders        19.8
Fabric menders, except garment                 17.7

Occupation                                     Total       Employment in
                                               employment  fabric mills

Textile knitting and weaving machine setters,  22,560      13,570
operators, and tenders
Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out
machine setters, operators, and tenders        27,760       5,490
Fabric menders, except garment                    620         110

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment
Statistics.

Table 1. Occupations in which the coal mining industry is the largest
employer, 2015

Occupation                   Percent of occupation in coal  Total
                             mining                         employment

Mine shuttle car operators   93.5                           2,310
Roof bolters, mining         93.1                           5,220
Loading machine operators,   60.7                           3,210
underground mining

Occupation                    Employment in coal
                              mining

Mine shuttle car operators    2,160
Roof bolters, mining          4,860
Loading machine operators,    1,950
underground mining

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment
Statistics.
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Author:Cross, Elizabeth
Publication:Career Outlook
Geographic Code:100NA
Date:Feb 1, 2017
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