The project, funded by the non-profit Brookings Institution, has created a national map exploring what they call “economic vitality.”
To place geographic areas – down to specific counties – on a vitality index, the project considers:
- Median household income (45 percent)
- Poverty rate (24 percent)
- Life expectancy (13 percent)
- Prime-age employment-to-population ratio (9 percent)
- Housing vacancy rate (5 percent)
- Unemployment rate (4 percent)
On the map, blue counties have higher vitality scores and yellow counties lower. Darker counties have higher populations while lighter ones are more sparsely populated.
A look at North Carolina shows the state’s most populated urban areas highest on the vitality index, especially Charlotte and the Triangle area.
The map allows users to look at specific data for specific areas for easy comparison as well.
Take the map for a spin yourself, learn more about its methodology and read its accompanying paper – here.