Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Race and Economic Indicators

Recently on the NNIP listserve, someone requested data resources for measuring economic indicators by race at the community level. Here's a quick compilation of many of the responses: provides city and county-level profiles using 2000 Census Cummary File 3 data. uses Census data as well as data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the National Center for Health Statistics for a broader look at metro-area profiles. is the Census Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates which provides poverty and income estimates by race.

The Mumford Center analyzes Census data by race for metro areas at

The American Community Survey allows you to build customized data sets. You can get household income, family income, median family income, per capita income, and aggregate household income by race, poverty status by race, median earnings by race, food stamps by race, and employment status by race. See

Local school data on free/reduced-price lunch program participation can be a useful, local(school-specific) proxy for family income by race. Local sources will vary, though usually the state will provide the information needed.

If you have other specific data sources for measures of income by race and ethnicity, please let me know. See also Indicators of Racial Disparity for more information.


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