About Community Indicators

Center for Houston’s Future’s Community Indicators program is fundamentally a quality-of-place report card for our region. These comprehensive metrics on our competitiveness and sustainability, presented in peer-reviewed, printed research reports, and in this dynamic website, provide baseline data, analysis, and tracking on nine major community issues: Arts & Cultural Heritage, Health, Education, Natural Environment, Built Environment, Civic Vitality, Economy & Industry, Diversity, and Public Safety. The goal is to provide a way to accurately assess the livability of our region, to hold ourselves accountable, and to document progress. Building on the foundation and structure we have refined over the last seven years, we are expanding and enhancing our framework, building a systematic methodology to keep the Indicators current, and pursuing new avenues of engagement made possible and necessary by technological advancements. The print-based reports continue to be available for download, and that in-depth, peer-reviewed research and analysis provides the bones of the online site. As new source data is issued, information can, and will be, more readily and frequently updated. Eventually all of our Indicators research will include regional and longitudinal data even if the original research did not. To date, four of our Indicator issues – civic vitality, diversity, public safety, and economy & industry – have not yet received the rigorous analysis of our full Indicator Report process. In the meantime, we will partially populate those sections with our “first look” data – the basic information that’s the starting point for our deep-dive report process. Over time all of the issue areas will also include comparison data to other MSAs, within Texas and across the nation. We have adopted our current data visualization software because it is highly interactive and easy for users to data-mine, with the ability to start with regional data and telescope down to look at more specific geographical areas – counties, zip codes, and neighborhoods – accelerating the opportunity for this information to support real transformational growth in the region. We intend for this website to be a work in progress, constantly changing and improving, in order to provide the best tools and data analysis available to our region.
When I look at the Indicator Report, it reminds me of the urgency of the challenge. But I also see hope. When we are all working together, we can see progress on those indicators that gives us the assurance that we’re moving in the right direction. – Steve Amstutz, Discover U
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