Data & Analysis

Robust data and research are essential to understand the forces that shape the economy and develop strategies to build an equitable economy. In partnership with the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at the University of Southern California, we're working to provide relevant data and analyses to the national and local organizations that are advancing equity as an economic imperative.

Together, we:

  • Maintain the National Equity Atlas, a comprehensive data resource to track, measure, and make the case for inclusive growth
  • Analyze demographic change, equity, and economic prosperity in diverse demographic and economic contexts
  • Produce tailored data and analyses to inform decision-making, policy development, and organizing in local communities

Local partners play an important role in shaping our research agenda and ensuring that we produce data and analyses that inform action. Community leaders are using our reports to build a shared understanding about how equity matters to the economy, engage new partners, and develop strategies to advance equitable growth.

  • National Equity Atlas

    The National Equity Atlas is a first-of-its-kind data and policy tool for community leaders and policymakers working to build an equitable economy. The Atlas provides in-depth data, charts, and maps on demographic change, racial inclusion, and the economic benefits of equity for the 150 largest regions, 100 largest cities, all 50 states, and the United States. It also includes examples of how communities are using equity data to drive policy change, groundbreaking analyses like the our new brief about the GDP gains from racial inclusion, and much more.

  • Equity Profiles

  • An Equity Profile of Detroit City

    June 12, 2017

    After decades of job and population loss, the City of Detroit has shown recent signs of growth. However, this Detroit Renaissance is not enjoyed equally by all residents; deep racial disparities, declining wages, and a hollowing out of middle-wage, high-opportunity jobs threaten the city’s rebound and economic viability. Equitable development strategies will be essential if growth is to have an appreciable impact on poverty, inequality, and racial disparities. This equity profile was developed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support local community groups, elected officials, planners, business leaders, funders, and others working to build a stronger and more equitable city. Read the the full profile.

  • An Equity Profile of Jackson

    May 23, 2017

    Since 1990, Jackson, Mississippi has experienced notable demographic growth and transformation — driven mostly by an increase in the Black and Latino populations. Today, these demographic shifts persist. By growing good jobs, connecting younger generations with older ones, integrating immigrants into the economy, Jackson can put all residents on the path towards reaching their full potential, and secure a bright future for the city and region. This equity analysis of Jackson was developed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Read the full profile.

  • Advancing Health Equity and Inclusive Growth in Buffalo

    May 8, 2017

    With millions in public and private investments on the horizon, Buffalo, New York, is poised for resurgence. But if new investments do not address persistent racial and economic inequities, the city’s long-term economic future is at risk. This health equity and inclusive growth profile offers leaders data and strategies to undergird policy solutions to advance health equity, inclusive growth, and a culture of health. They were developed by PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC, in partnership with Open Buffalo, and with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read the policy brief and the full profile.

  • An Equity Profile of Grand Rapids

    April 26, 2017

    Grand Rapids is an increasingly diverse city. While it has experienced some overall population loss over the last decade, communities of color have significantly grown – and their ability to participate and thrive is central to the city’s success. This profile shows how equitable growth is the path to sustained economic prosperity in the region. It was developed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to assist local community groups, elected officials, planners, business leaders, funders, and others working to build a stronger and more equitable city. Read the full profile.

  • An Equity Profile of Long Island

    April 23, 2017

    Long Island – defined as Nassau and Suffolk counties – is rapidly diversifying. Today, one in three Long Island residents is a person of color – up from roughly one in 10 residents in 1980. Black Long Islanders, who were largely excluded from the massive federally subsidized suburban development that characterizes Long Island, continue to face barriers to full social, economic, and political inclusion. This profile shows how persistent segregation and racial disparities in wealth, housing, educational attainment and many other areas is costing Long Island billions of dollars in potential economic growth each year. The accompanying policy brief provides a series of recommendations designed to close the racial wealth divide which would result in a major boost to Long Island’s economy. It was produced by PolicyLink and PERE, with support from Citi Community Development, the Long Island Community Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read the policy brief and the full profile.

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  • An Equity Profile of New Orleans

    April 20, 2017

    New Orleans’ incredible diversity can be a tremendous economic asset if people of color are fully included as workers, entrepreneurs, and innovators. However, while the city’s economy is showing signs of resurgence after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, rising inequality, stagnant wages, and persistent racial inequities place its long-term economic future at risk. This equity profile was developed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support local community groups, elected officials, planners, business leaders, funders, and others working to build a stronger and more equitable city. Read the full profile.

  • Advancing Health Equity and Inclusive Growth in Fresno County

    April 17, 2017

    Fresno is the nation’s top agricultural county, yet it struggles with slow growth, high unemployment, and an economy dominated by low-wage jobs and few pathways into the middle class. While communities of color account for 68 percent of the population — up from 38 percent in 1980 — the county’s racial inequities persist across all indicators of community health and well-being. This health equity and inclusive growth profile and accompanying policy brief were developed in partnership with the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, and with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They provide unique data and actionable solutions for residents, advocates, funders, business leaders, and policymakers seeking to reduce racial inequities and build a stronger Fresno. Read the policy brief and the full profile.

  • An Equity Profile of Los Angeles Region

    March 2, 2017

    The 2017 Equity Profile of the Los Angeles Region, highlights the widening inequities in income, wealth, health and opportunity in Los Angeles County. This summary and full report was developed by PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC, and is supported by the Weingart Foundation.

    The new report underscores that, over the past several decades, long-standing inequities in income, wealth, health, and opportunity have reached historic levels. And while many have been affected by this growing inequality, communities of color have felt the greatest pains as the economy has shifted and stagnated.

    Read the summary and the full profile.

  • An Equity Profile of the Detroit Region

    June 30, 2015

    The Detroit region is undergoing growth and change. After losing approximately 156,000 people between 2000 and 2010, the region is projected to reverse its recent losses and grow by about 5 percent over the next 30 years. People of color will make up a growing share of the population, with much of that growth propelled by Latinos and Asians. An infusion of new public and private investments along with middle-wage job growth is also fueling an economic recovery, what some have called a Detroit Renaissance. However, not everyone will benefit unless business, community, and political leaders work together to connect people of color to jobs, business opportunities, quality education and career training, and healthy homes and neighborhoods. Read the summary and the full profile.

  • Equitable Growth Profile of Fairfax County
    June 18, 2015

    With a median household income of $110,292, Fairfax County, Virginia is one of the wealthiest counties in the nation—but not all residents share in this economic prosperity. As its population has grown and diversified over the past 25 years, inequities in income and opportunity by race and geography have also increased. Given that communities of color are expected to increase from 45 to 72 percent of the population by 2040, taking concrete steps to create pathways for the communities being left behind to connect to education and good jobs is critical for the county’s economic future. This study was produced in partnership with the County and other local leaders to support their efforts to build a stronger and more equitable county. Read the summary and the full profile.

  • An Equity Profile of the San Francisco Bay Area Region
    April 22, 2015

    The Bay Area is booming, but a rising tide economy is not lifting up its low-income communities and communities of color. As communities of color continue to drive growth and change in the region, addressing wide racial inequities and ensuring people of color can fully participate as workers, entrepreneurs, and innovators is an urgent priority. Our analysis finds that the regional economy could have been $117 billion stronger in 2012 had its racial gaps in income and employment. This profile, produced for The San Francisco Foundation, describes the region’s demographic transformation and performance on a series of equity indicators. Read the summary (web version / download pdf) and the full profile (web version / download pdf) and explore indicators in the Atlas.

  • Equitable Growth Profile of the Research Triangle Region
    March 31, 2015

    The Research Triangle Region has a long tradition of growth and change, as its research universities and technologically sophisticated businesses have served markets and attracted people from across the United States and around the world. From the city cores of Raleigh and Durham to small towns and rural areas throughout the region, the communities that make up the Research Triangle have a common goal of seeing that all its people have pathways to success.

    Download the full profile and summary.

  • Equitable Growth Profile of the Cape Fear Region
    February 11, 2015

    The Cape Fear region in North Carolina is experiencing a demographic transformation characterized by a diversifying younger population and a rapidly growing senior population that is predominantly White. To secure a thriving economy for the decades to come, the region must tap the economic potential of its growing young population. Building education and career pathways for all and ensuring young workers are prepared for the jobs of the future are key strategies for inclusive growth in the region.

    Download the profile and summary.

  • Equitable Growth Profile of the Piedmont Triad Region
    December 4, 2014

    The Piedmont Triad region in North Carolina—covering 12 counties and home to the cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point—is a growing region whose demographics are rapidly changing. Communities of color are driving growth, and have increased from 20 to 33 percent of the population since 1980. Ensuring its diverse residents can participate in the regional economy and contribute to stronger job growth and broadly shared prosperity is critical for the region’s future. Growing good jobs, investing in its workforce, and infusing economic inclusion into economic development and growth strategies are promising strategies. Download the profile and summary.

  • Equitable Growth Profile of the Omaha-Council Bluffs Region
    December 2, 2014

    The Omaha-Council Bluffs region has a relatively strong and resilient economy, with overall low unemployment and steady job growth. At the same time, wages have stagnated for most workers and many communities of color face barriers to accessing good jobs, living wages, and the education needed for the jobs of the future. Increasing connections to good jobs, raising the floor for low-wage work, and building communities of opportunity metro-wide are key strategies to shift the region towards equitable growth. Download the profile and summary, and read this post.

  • An Equity Profile of the Houston-Galveston Region
    October 13, 2014

    Houston-Galveston is characterized by overall economic strength and resilience, but wide racial gaps in income, health, and opportunity coupled with declining wages, a shrinking middle class, and rising inequality place the region’s economic success and future at risk. Our analysis showed the region already stands to gain a great deal from addressing racial inequities. If racial gaps in income had been closed in 2012, the regional economy would have been $243.3 billion stronger: a 54 percent increase. Download the equity profilesummary, and addendum with the GDP analysis.

    public://5349149111_4175eceb5e_b_Houston_1.jpg Courtesy of Neighborhood Centers Inc.
  • An Equity Profile of Southeast Florida
    June 11, 2014

    Communities of color are driving Southeast Florida’s population growth, and their ability to participate and thrive is central to the region’s economic success. But wide racial gaps in income, health, and opportunity place its future at risk. Creating good jobs, connecting youth and vulnerable workers to training and career pathways, and increasing access to economic opportunities can secure a bright economic future for the region. Download the equity profile and summary.

  • An Equity Profile of Kansas City

    October 29, 2013

    While Kansas City's regional economy is relatively resilient, inequities in educational attainment and economic opportunity for its black and Latino communities place its economy at risk. The process of developing this profile helped build a broader coalition for equitable growth that includes the Mid-America Regional Council (a regional planning agency), Kansas City Regional Equity Network, and Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. Download the equity profile and summary.

  • An Equity Profile of Rhode Island

    February 20, 2013

    Our analysis showed that communities of color are driving growth and change in the Ocean State – growing from 7 percent of the population in 1980 to 24 percent of the population today – yet face barriers accessing quality employment. It inspired Governor Chafee’s Executive Order on Diversity, aimed at increasing opportunities for people of color to access government jobs and business contracts. Download the equity profile and summary.

  • Reports

    Race, Place, and Jobs: Reducing Employment Inequality in America’s Metros
    January 2017

    The latest brief from the National Equity Atlas team, Race, Place, and Jobs: Reducing Employment Inequality in America’s Metros, analyzes the relationship between racial and spatial inequality in employment across America’s largest 150 metropolitan regions. We find that in several regions with large racial gaps in employment such as Youngstown and Milwaukee, unemployed workers of color tend to live in a small number of neighborhoods. In these places, neighborhood-targeted workforce development and job access strategies have the potential to increase racial equity and reduce disparities at the regional level, building stronger and more inclusive regional economies. Download the report.

  • Full Employment for All: The Social and Economic Benefits of Race and Gender Equity in Employment
    August 2015

    How much stronger could the economy be if everyone who wanted a job could find one—regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender? This analysis, produced for the Fed Up campaign for Federal Reserve policies that work for communities most left behind by the recovery, estimates the potential economic gains of full employment for all. Find out what the United States economy—and the economies of the 12 metropolitan regions where each Federal Reserve office is located—could look like with true full employment for all. (Detailed methodological appendix forthcoming).

  • The Equity Solution: Racial Inclusion Is Key to Growing a Strong New Economy
    October 22, 2014

    How much could the economy benefit from racial inclusion? This research brief estimates the economic boost of racial inclusion for the largest 150 regions, all 50 states, and the nation. We found that the national economy stands to grow $2.1 trillion every year from racial equity, and that every region in the country would gain millions per year – from $287 million in Springfield, Missouri (the lowest potential gain) to $510 billion in Los Angeles (the highest). Download the briefpress release, or data.

  • Minnesota’s Tomorrow: Equity Is the Superior Growth Model

    March 26, 2014

    A once-homogeneous state, Minnesota is rapidly becoming more diverse and is now home to the nation’s largest Somali population and its second-largest Hmong population. But it is also home to some of the largest racial gaps  in economic opportunity. By implementing an equitable growth agenda, Minnesota can fully leverage its newfound diversity as an asset and build an economy that provides opportunities for all Minnesotans to flourish. Download the full report and the one-page summary.

  • California’s Tomorrow: Equity is the Superior Growth Model
    March 2, 2012

    In a state where more than 7 of every 10 youth are people of color, equity is the key to a prosperous economy for all. Our report shares principles and policy priorities to build an equitable Golden State, and serves as the backbone for our policy work in California. Download the report in English or Spanish and view demographic change maps.

  • America’s Tomorrow: Equity Is the Superior Growth Model

    November 9, 2011

    As the country witnesses the emergence of a new racial and ethnic majority, equity—long a matter of social justice and morality—is now also an economic imperative. The nation can only achieve and sustain growth and prosperity by integrating all into the economy, including those who have too often been left behind. America’s Tomorrow was the framing paper for the fourth annual Equity Summit held in Detroit in 2011. Download the full report and summary, available in English and Spanish.

  • Infographic: Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

    Small changes in tax policy can have huge benefits for low-income people, struggling communities, and the nation's economy - and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) proves it. The credit has lifted 6.5 million people out of poverty while increasing employment in communities with the greatest need, particularly communities of color.

  • Infographic: Raise Wages for Tipped Workers

    Here's a simple way to grow an equitable economy and lift 700,000 people out of poverty: pay a decent wage to restaurant servers and other tipped workers.


Advisory Committee

Our research agenda is guided by a group of leaders working to advance equity as the superior growth model in their states and regions: