Foundation for MetroWest (FFMW) recently completed and launched its Impact MetroWest project, an interactive data website which identifies more than 50 indicators that measure quality of life in the region. The goal of the project is to bring awareness to and drive action around the strengths and challenges facing communities in MetroWest.
Much of the data support the common belief that things in Metrowest are pretty great: The region has a well-educated workforce, high median incomes, low unemployment, and a robust high-tech sector. The area boasts increasing diversity, impressive high school graduation rates, and declining crime rates.
But, the data shows, the region also has an aging population, scarce affordable housing, inadequate transportation options, rising income inequality and homelessness, and a wide disparity in educational outcomes.
Impact MetroWest features thousands of data points in areas ranging from demographics and the economy to education and cultural life. In addition to providing a comprehensive portrait of the region, the interactive website allows users to search statistics on their own communities. Nonprofits can use the data to drive their programs and services and to make their case for support to donors and funders.
Some of the findings:
The number of residents 60 to 84 years old rose by 38 percent from 2000 to 2018, while the number of those aged 20 to 39 fell by 1 percent. Homelessness has risen 45 percent since 2007. Most third-graders were “proficient” readers overall, but just 36 percent of African-American students and 34 percent of Latino students met that standard.
FFMW plans to update the data every two years.
Take a few minutes to peruse the site. There’s a lot to learn and you will easily get hooked.