How is your community doing?
The Community Index measures US counties in five areas help to evaluate the vibrancy of communities. We know these indicators are signs that communities and economies are growing stronger.
About the Index
The Community Index began in 2012 as an effort of our team to document key indicators and predictors of community vibrancy and economic strength. Each year we update and run a model, publish “top ten” lists of high-scoring counties (organized by population size), and display the results through a web app.
The Index model incorporates 20 different indicators in the areas of Investment, Talent, Sustainability, Place, and Diversity. While we know there is no single recipe for economic success, we also know that these five areas are critical ingredients in vibrant communities everywhere.
What do we mean by each of these?
Investment: a productive regional economy with active businesses that have access to the capital, markets, and workforce they need to grow
Talent: a skilled workforce, with access to education that prepares residents to participate in the local economy
Sustainability: a resilient community and economy with diverse industries, sustainable infrastructure, and a healthy population
Place: an active and affordable community with high levels of civic engagement and a variety of quality of life assets
Diversity: an equitable community, where diverse economic activity is reflective of a diverse population
We see the Fourth Economy Community Index as a starting point for communities—providing residents, public officials, community organizations, and other stakeholders with a baseline to help understand where they are doing well and see where there is room for improvement.
How to Use the Index
We see the Fourth Economy Community Index as a starting point for communities, providing them with a baseline to help understand where they are doing well and see where there is room for improvement. We envision you using the information:
When developing an RFP to create specific strategies to improve your community
To lead community discussions about areas of relative strength and weakness
To inform presentations to stakeholders about the state of your community
To compare your community to top 10 communities of the same size
If you’d like to delve deeper, please contact our team to see if we can help. Many of our most interesting projects stem from conversations with communities about where they are and where they want to be. We can start by taking an initial, detailed look at your community and contextualizing your rankings. Our specialty is in developing strategies that help communities achieve their goals. We’d love to talk to see if we can help. Get in touch.