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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Regional Religiosity

We talked about data on religions last year, and even had an example where a community indicator on religion told important information about the kind of community people lived in. With the recent emphasis on religion and voting in the primary elections in the United States presidential race, this map on regionalism and religiosity may be interesting.

There are other maps that use similar data to describe religious adherents at the county level in the United States. This map shows percent of the population that is Jewish, and this one Muslim, and this one Catholic; they're part of a series of maps found at the Glenmary Research Center.

The methodology of the research, also with some cautionary notes, is available here.

Someone else recreated the map using this set of data and methodology, which he explains along with the coding he used. He says, "The one advantage of my SAS/Graph map is that you can hover your mouse over the counties, and see the county name & the numeric value!"

For more data at an international level, you might find this interesting.

Do you include indicators of religiosity or religious service attendance as part of your community indicators project? I think it might be interesting to see which communities do, and if there is a geographical pattern in those communities that consider religious beliefs a critical measure of the quality of life in their community.


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