Along with single-indicator map layers, Community Commons offers several indices that provide a community score for a particular topic. An index is based on several indicators put together, and thus allows you to summarize many factors while looking at just a single score.
Though they can often be intimidating, indices are a great way to understand how your community is doing in comparison to others.
This feature will present just three of the several indices offered in the Community Commons map room. Try adding one to your map to see how your community ranks.
Low Transportation Cost Index
This index takes into account several transportation-related indicators and scores the transportation cost for each census tract around the country. In this case, the higher the score, the lower the transportation cost. Using this index layer may come in handy when thinking about proposals to increase public transportation in your community.
Labor Market Engagement Index
The labor market engagement index is based on educational attainment, employment level, and labor force participation in a particular area. Using these three criteria, this index provides a score from 1-100 to summarize the intensity of the labor market and human capital in a census block group. These scores might be useful in determining where to focus on increasing employment opportunities in your neighborhood.
Per Capita Income Disparity Index
Indices can also be helpful in displaying disparities within and between communities. The per capita income disparity index is based on data from the American Community Survey to illustrate where income disparities exist across race/ethnicity in communities. This index provides a summary score for communities across the country, where a high score indicates high disparity.
Using an index can be helpful when you want to provide a summary of many indicators in an easy-to-understand score. Try adding one of these indices to your map today!
At Community Commons, we love to explore data and create new indices. We partner wth CARES to do these analyses, such as what we created with Environments Supporting Healthy Eating (ESHE). Look for an in depth feature on the ESHE Index later in July. If you have data you’d like to explore as an index, please contact CARES at cares.missouri.edu