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Digital Counties Survey 2022 - Winners Announced!

Center for Digital Government's 2022 Digital Counties Survey honors counties with innovative use of emerging technologies; enhanced cybersecurity; and strengthened digital equity initiatives.

July 13, 2022 – The Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) have announced the winners of the 20th annual Digital Counties Survey. The survey, developed in partnership with NACo, and conducted by CDG, identifies the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services; encourage collaboration; enhance cybersecurity and apply innovative and emerging technologies to county priorities.

“Our nation’s top counties continue to succeed and deliver on key services, breaking down barriers to broadband connectivity and accessibility, building upon innovative and smart initiatives that enable government to better plan for and protect their citizens, constituents, and assets,” said Brian Cohen, vice-president, CDG. “The Center for Digital Government is excited to recognize and congratulate this year’s winners for their accomplishments and continuing efforts to use technology to make government better.”

“In our increasingly complex world, counties are using technology to pursue bold, cutting-edge approaches to serving our residents,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase. “From broadband accessibility to public health and safety, from transportation to community development and much more, technology plays a key role in helping our counties thrive. We applaud this year’s Digital Counties Survey winners for their leadership, innovation and expertise in leveraging technology to achieve county goals.”
This year’s first-place winners include:

  • King County, Wash. (1,000,000 or more population category):
King County IT (KCIT) established the Community Engagement Translation Program last year in partnership with the Office of Equity and Social Justice. Results include implementation of the county's first modern translation management platform and use of the “King County Connect” mobile app for increased services and feedback in their seven most-spoken native languages. In addition, KCIT has applied multi-factor authentication (MFA) security to all County employee and contractor accounts.

  • Prince George’s County, Md. (500,000 – 999,999 population category):
The connected infrastructure of Prince George’s County uses IOT-related tech such as sensors and intelligent systems for traffic, connected vehicles and smart bus shelters. The Vehicles-to-Infrastructure project extended County-owned fiber optic cable to traffic signals. Gigabit-speed provides real-time network security and monitoring of transportation systems. Finally, next generation 9-1-1 was implemented so that emergency calls can be received via text and video: calls are geolocated to the correct PSAP for an accurate and timely response.

  • County of Placer, Calif. (250,000-499,999 population category):
The County Broadband Equity Program awarded $500,000 to expand broadband access to underserved rural areas. In addition, the Mobile Court and Mobile Probation Outreach Vehicle (POV) serve unhoused individuals and those with accessibility and/or transportation challenges. Cost-savings are provided by the reduced number of warrants and site visits. The POV has made over 500 visits to homeless shelters and campsites.

  • Arlington County, Va. (150,000-249,999 population category):
The county's 5-year Digital Strategy has evolved into a collaborative approach with county business units for outcomes that best serve the community. As an example, an application developed with county Economic Development provided $2 million in immediate funds to businesses and nonprofits. In addition, the use of AI for cybersecurity has enabled staff to shift significant time to strategic defensive activities, significantly improving the county’s security risk posture.

  • County of Nevada, Calif. (up to 150,000 population category):
One of the county’s top objectives is wildfire preparedness. They are using a machine learning platform for evacuation planning; redundant Internet feeds, redundant telecommunications and cloud-to-cloud storage for backup and disaster recovery. Another top priority is to expand broadband county-wide: the Board adopted a broadband strategy plan and provided county general funds, and also allocated $1 million in CARES Act funding to accelerate a local “fiber to the home” project.

FUTURE READY AWARD 2022: The Future Ready Awards were created to recognize the innovative vision that states, cities and counties have for the impact of technology on the people they serve – specifically those jurisdictions that are laying the foundation for the disruptive and converging forces that are shaping the future.

CDG presents the 2022 Future Ready Award to Orange County, Fla. In addition to tying together next-gen AI-tools to prevent privacy data leakage, the county’s newly hired data scientists are linking metrics data to core business agendas. For the Fire Rescue Dept., they deposited EKG files on mobile tablets to expedite patient handoff at the hospital. For county Medical Examiners, a Virtual Dissection Table allows existing CT Scanners to transform 2D images into 3D - providing assessments without dissection for a more efficient and accurate assessment.

CDG thanks the following corporate members for their support to make this survey and awards program possible: Premier Corporate Members - Accela, Amazon Web Services, Infor, Laserfiche, Microsoft, Oracle America, Inc. and Yubico; Standard Corporate Members- CAI, LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Pure Storage, RingCentral, Inc., SHI International Corp and VertiGIS.

Congratulations to the 2022 Digital Counties Survey Top 10 Winners!

1 Million or More Population
1st King County, WA
2nd Fairfax County, VA
3rd Orange County, FL
4th Oakland County, MI
5th County of Alameda, CA
6th County of San Diego, CA
7th Wake County, NC
8th Cook County, IL
8th Westchester County, NY
9th Hennepin County, MN
10th County of San Bernardino, CA

500,000-999,999 Population
1st Prince George's County, MD
2nd DeKalb County, GA
3rd Snohomish County, WA
4th Cobb County, GA
5th New Castle County, DE
6th San Joaquin County, CA
7th Gwinnett County, GA
8th County of Ventura, CA
9th Polk County, FL
10th County of Chester, PA

250,000-499,999 Population
1st County of Placer, CA
2nd Prince William County, VA
3rd Chesterfield County, VA
4th Leon County, FL
5th Dutchess County, NY
6th Sarasota County, FL
7th Hamilton County, IN
8th Clayton County, GA
9th Anoka County, MN
10th Erie County, PA

150,000-249,999 Population
1st Arlington County, VA
2nd Cabarrus County, NC
3rd Columbia County, GA
4th Pitt County, NC
5th Washington County, AR
6th Onslow County, NC
7th Davidson County, NC
8th Union County, NC
9th Charlotte County, FL
10th Berkeley County, SC

Up to 150,000 Population
1st County of Nevada, CA
2nd Coconino Co, AZ
3rd Montgomery County, VA
4th County of Franklin, VA
5th James City County, VA
5th Orange County, VA
6th Dodge County, WI
7th County of York, VA
8th Bedford County, VA
9th County of Albemarle, VA
10th Sherburne County, MN


2022 Top 10 technologies and initiatives which are likely to have an increased focus in the next year:
1. Cybersecurity (#1 for nine years consecutively)
  • The percentage of counties spending 10% or more of their IT budget on cybersecurity has more than doubled since last year - from five to twelve percent.
2. Citizen Engagement/ Experience
  • Personalized Experience efforts increased 15% since last year.
3. Hire/retain/nurture competent IT personnel (moved up from number seven)
4. Networks: broadband, connectivity, addressing digital divide
5. Disaster Recovery/ Continuity of Operations moved up from eighth to fifth.
6. Business intelligence/analytics
7. Cloud computing
8. Departmental IT collaboration
9. Business Process Automation (dropped to ninth from third last year).
10. Digital services/processes

The top 3 disciplines in which counties will have increasing needs for IT staffing in the next 12-18 months are:
1. Cybersecurity: Data Protection, Compliance Auditing, Mobile/Remote Security
2. Application Building, Integration and Modernization
3. Process Improvement and Modernization

CLICK HERE for the article on the top 10 winners who are being honored at a special awards event during the National Association of Counties annual conference on July 21.

About the Center for Digital Government:

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on technology policy and best practices in state and local government. CDG is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.

About NACo:

The National Association of Counties strengthens America’s counties, including nearly 40,000 county elected officials and 3.6 million county employees. Founded in 1935, NACo unites county officials to advocate for county government priorities in federal policymaking; promote exemplary county policies and practices; nurture leadership skills and expand knowledge networks; optimize county and taxpayer resources and cost savings; and enrich the public’s understanding of county government.

Janet Grenslitt
Director of Surveys and Awards
e.Republic | Center for Digital Government