Mission: To help communities identify priority areas for advancing racial equity, track their progress over time, and set specific goals for closing racial gaps.
Background: PolicyLink and the USC Equity Research Institute joined together to produce the National Equity Atlas, a data and policy tool for community leaders and policy makers working to build a thriving economy that is also more equitable and resilient. Using disaggregated data from the largest hundred cities, the largest hundred and fifty regions, and all fifty states, the index provides a snapshot of how well a given place is performing on racial equity compared to its peers — comparing cities to cities, regions to regions, and states to states. Because equity involves closing racial gaps and ensuring that everyone is doing well, the index is based on two components: an inclusion score that indicates the extent of racial gaps in outcomes for a series of nine equity indicators, and a prosperity score that indicates how well the population is doing overall on those same indicators.
Outstanding Web Features: The index uses nine indicators of economic vitality, readiness, and connectedness to measure overall population well-being and racial gap outcomes and track relative changes in equity outcomes over time. Indicators are grouped by category, including Economic Vitality (wages, unemployment, and poverty); Readiness (educational attainment, disconnected youth, and school poverty); and Connectedness (air pollution exposure, commute time, and housing burden). A higher score indicates a smaller racial equity gap.
The prosperity score by race/ethnicity shows how different racial/ethnic groups are faring relative to the community as a whole and relative to their counterparts in other communities, with score values ranging from 1 (needs most work) to 100 (top performer). Because all values are relative, even top performing groups have room for improvement. All these factors are combined to produce an integrated and holistic measure that provides a single comparative racial equity metric for U.S. cities, regions, and states.