32 million people

These 222 counties generally lie on the fringe of major metro areas, in the space between suburban and rural America – with some more densely settled areas and some area more sparse. The Exurbs are populous, with 32 million people, and relatively wealthy, with a median household income of about $63,000. Though there is sprawl here, the counties’ rural attributes and their less-diverse citizenry lead the Exurbs to be pretty comfortably Republican in their presidential vote. Mitt Romney won these counties by some 17 percentage points in 2012.