Capital Region Community Dashboard

Data Sources

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Source Link: Kids Count Data Center, A Project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation

In Pennsylvania, the compulsory school age for children is age eight. As a result, there is no requirement for kindergarten or preschool. Preschool and kindergarten programs are often at high risk of being cut or underfunded during periods of budget shortfalls. Head Start is a federally funded program that provides education and other services to low-income children age three or four and their families to promote school readiness. Early Head Start programs serve toddlers and their families until age three.

Why is this indicator important? - Research indicates that investing in early services for children, including pre-kindergarten, may have longterm benefits for children. Pre-kindergarten programs may significantly improve literacy, language and math skills for children entering kindergarten and reduce special education placements through second grade. In addition, a longitudinal study conducted through the HighScope Educational Research Foundation showed significant long-term improvements for adults who participated in high-quality preschool programs compared to a group that did not participate in preschool. Participants in the study who attended preschool reported higher high school graduation and employment rates, reported higher earnings, and were less likely to have committed crimes. Additionally, each dollar spent on pre-kindergarten services may save up to $17 in services and benefits.

Source Link: National Center for Education Statistics

The regional data collected related to this indicator were in student teacher ratios, which is different than class size. Student teacher ratio refers to the number of students in a particular school divided by the number of teachers, whereas class size refers to the number of students in each class.

Why is this indicator important? - According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, class size plays a significant role in student success. Research supports the notion that children learn more and teachers are more effective in smaller classes. Importantly, small classes have been found to have positive impacts on test scores. There are two critical outcomes associated with class size. The evidence suggests that increasing class size will harm not only children’s test scores in the short run but also their long-term human capital formation. Money saved today by increasing class sizes will be offset by more substantial social and educational costs in the future. The payoff from class-size reduction is greater for low-income and minority children, while any increases in class size will likely be most harmful to these populations.

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Educational attainment is defined as the highest grade or degree completed by an individual at any point in time. Universe: population age 25 years and over

Why is this indicator important? - According to the U.S. Department of Education, educational attainment is a strong indicator of future employment and financial success. Additionally, individuals with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree earned a median income more than 60 percent greater than those attaining just a high school degree. The higher the level of education, the higher the likelihood an individual will report better health and well-being and lower levels of divorce and incarceration. Also, educational attainment data may provide some insight into the job market within a community and the number of role models or mentors available for youth within the region.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Education

The Pennsylvania Department of Education defines a drop out as, “A student who, for any other reason than death, leaves school before graduation without transferring to school/institution.” A more specific definition can be found in Act 22 PA Code Sect. 1124 that states schools can remove a child from enrollment after missing 10 consecutive days. According the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the dropout rate is determined by the total number of dropouts for the school year divided by the fall enrollment for the same year. Universe: High School Students

Why is this indicator important? - Despite many questions that surround this indicator, dropout statistics can be helpful in determining school effectiveness when used alongside other indicators. While it is certainly desirable when schools report positive outcomes across multiple indicators, it is important to note that some schools may perform better on one type of outcome as opposed to another. Effective interventions in one area may be categorically different and could even be in competition with effective strategies in other areas. For instance, if social/emotional interventions like the use of counselors and consistent discipline policies have been shown to reduce dropout rates, they may not have the same desired effect on improving other indicators like academic climate or test scores. In a challenging economic climate with limited resources, school administrators may find themselves in the difficult position of being forced to choose one intervention over another. A clear and shared understanding of what constitutes student achievement or school success is critical. For instance, it is short sighted to frame student achievement in terms of improving test scores if students aren’t actually graduating.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Education

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law that requires states to coordinate services to help assure educational success for children who are homeless. According to the act, the term homeless children and youth is defined as children and youth who do not have a regular and sufficient nighttime residence. Homeless children may include children sharing a household with others because of personal or economic difficulties, those living in a shelter or other facility, individuals living in a public space, living in a hotel, waiting to be placed in foster care or migratory children who may be defined as homeless.

Why is this indicator important? - According to the 2014 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Task Force on Homelessness, there are many factors that play into homelessness being a barrier to school success. Homeless children are identified as having disabilities and are placed in special education programs at higher rates than the general school age population, they tend to fall behind academically and they are less likely to graduate on time. Additionally, there may be other factors that impede school success such as a lack of regular healthy meals and being at higher risk for medical and mental health issues. Young children who experience homeless may be at high risk for a variety of behavioral issues such as aggression, social isolation, depression and anxiety.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Education

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11. Students are assessed in English language arts and mathematics. In addition, students in grades four and eight are administered the science PSSA. The PSSA is a standards-based, criterion-referenced assessment used to measure a student's attainment of the academic standards while also determining the degree to which school programs enable students to attain proficiency of the standards. Universe: Students in grades 3,4,5,6,7,8, and 11.

Why is this indicator important? - Individual student scores are to be used by teachers to identify students who may be in need of additional educational opportunities and school scores provide information to schools and districts for curriculum and instruction improvement. Given that every Pennsylvania student in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 is assessed in reading and math, every Pennsylvania student in grades 5, 8 and 11 is assessed in writing and every Pennsylvania student in grades 4 and 8 is assessed in science, these data provide a longitudinal picture of student educational attainment.

Source Link: State Library of Pennsylvania

Public Libraries in Pennsylvania

Why is this indicator important? - According to the American Library Association - Libraries support the literacy of the homeless; Libraries have value to neighborhoods; The library facility as a gathering place has value; Public libraries provide valuable meeting spaces; library services allows for personal and professional development; Patrons find that public libraries improve quality of life and are a good use of tax revenue; Public libraries support personal productivity and cultural engagement; The library as a safe, important, and central public space; and, Use of Public Libraries for Community Involvement.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Education

In the national rankings, Pennsylvania holds the 45th spot for state-funded public education spending an average of about $13,149.00 per pupil. As an indicator, district funding examines the amount of financial resources that are dedicated to resourcing public schools in the tri-county area. District funding affects all areas of education from curriculum and supplies to the number of teachers and even the number of schools that districts are able to carry from one year to the next.

Why is this indicator important? - Based on current funding formulas, neighborhood schools in poor communities are especially at risk to languish year after year. This problematic cycle is created and maintained when families with school-aged children choose not to move into a specific neighborhood because of stigmas surrounding the community and public schools located there. So the conundrum continues when public schools are increasingly dependent on increased local property tax revenues but are themselves a deterrent to attracting new investments and prospective families.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Education

In the national rankings, Pennsylvania holds the 45th spot for state-funded public education spending an average of about $13,149.00 per pupil. As an indicator, district funding examines the amount of financial resources that are dedicated to resourcing public schools in the tri-county area. District funding affects all areas of education from curriculum and supplies to the number of teachers and even the number of schools that districts are able to carry from one year to the next.

Why is this indicator important? - The rising cost to deliver quality special education also is an important consideration when examining school funding. It is a time-intensive and expensive enterprise to comply with the legal requirements to design individualized education programs (IEPs) for each student who has been diagnosed with a disability.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Education

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) included many provisions designed to improve the education of students with disabilities.

Why is this indicator important? - The number of special education studentsalso is an important consideration when examining school funding. It is a time-intensive and expensive enterprise to comply with the legal requirements to design individualized education programs (IEPs) for each student who has been diagnosed with a disability.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Average daily membership (ADM) is the term used for all resident pupils of the school district for whom the school district is financially responsible. It is calculated by dividing the aggregate days membership for all children on active rolls by the number of days the school district is in session. Weighted average daily membership (WADM) is the term used for the assignment of weight by grade level to ADM. The current weighting is half-time kindergarten at 0.5, full-time kindergarten and elementary (grades 1-6) at 1.0, and secondary (grades 7-12) at 1.36.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Education

The United States Department of Agriculture Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) provides students with a fresh fruit or vegetable snack at school during the school day to increase their consumption of healthy foods, exposure to a variety of fruits and vegetables and promote a healthier school environment. The 2008 Farm Bill expanded the program which was previously only available to 25 schools in Pennsylvania . The number of schools selected each year is based upon federal funding. Participation is limited to elementary schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program with free and reduced eligibility rates at or above 50%. The FFVP is administered at the state level by The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), the same agency that administers the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

Why is this indicator important? - Studies show that children who eat healthy meals regularly have higher standardized test scores, better vocabulary, faster problem-solving skills and are less mistake-prone.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Truancy is defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as an unlawful absence or equivalent unexcused tardy of more than six school days within a school year.

Why is this indicator important? - Research shows that truancy rates matter, as truancy tends to be an early warning sign of student difficulties and may ultimately lead to poor school performance, increased probability of dropping out and a higher likelihood of substance abuse and juvenile delinquency. According to a national survey, a high percentage of students who dropped out of school reported being truant in the year prior to becoming a dropout. Additionally, truancy is associated with negative behaviors such as suicidal thoughts and firsttime drug use.

Report Indicators

Source Link: The Brookings Institution, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Interactive

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a federal refundable tax credit that benefits lowand moderateincome families by offsetting income taxes and raising their standard of living. A refundable tax credit means families that owe no federal income taxactually receive a check. Because the EITC requires the recipient to have labor income from a job, it encourages labor force participation and work efforts, including for single parents.

Why is this indicator important? - Research shows that the EITC reduces poverty, and that half of the individuals lifted out of poverty are children. Although half of all states have a state-level EITC based on the federal model, Pennsylvania does not.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Education

The National School Lunch Program is designed to address this issue, providing nutritious lunchtime meals free or at a reduced price for millions of low-income students across the country.

Why is this indicator important? - Studies show that children who eat healthy meals regularly have higher standardized test scores, better vocabulary, faster problem-solving skills and are less mistake-prone.

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Median income is the amount that divides the income distribution into two equal groups, half having income above that amount, and half having income below that amount. Universe: Population 15 years and over with income in the past 12 months

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

You must meet income, resource (in many cases), and other eligibility requirements in order to be eligible for Medical Assistance. These categories are grouped by: Individuals who are aged (age 65 and older), blind and disabled. (Identified for Medical Assistance purposes as SSI-related) Families with children under age 21. (Identified for Medical Assistance purposes as TANF-related) Single and married individuals with a temporary disability, age 59 through 64, limited income or special circumstances (Identified for Medical Assistance purposes as GA-related): Under-going drug and alcohol treatment; Victim of domestic violence; Caring for a child or disabled person. Special Medical Assistance conditions. Medical Assistance eligibility is determined using income and household size in comparison to income limits. Age and disability are also factors in determining which income limits apply. Examples of income counted in determinin eligibility include: Wages (certain deductions are allowed); Interest; Dividends; Social Security; Veterans' Benefits; Pensions; Spouse's income if living with him/her. Examples of income not counted when determining eligibility include: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits; Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits; Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefits; Foster Care payments; Certain housing or utility subsidies; Weatherization Payments.

Source Link: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Income received by persons from all sources. It includes income received from participation in production as well as from government and business transfer payments. It is the sum of compensation of employees (received), supplements to wages and salaries, proprietors' income with inventory valuation adjustment (IVA) and capital consumption adjustment (CCAdj), rental income of persons with CCAdj, personal income receipts on assets, and personal current transfer receipts, less contributions for government social insurance.

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

The official poverty measure was created in 1963 and is equal to three times a food budget for a family under economic stress, adjusted for family size and composition. The official poverty measure is considered by many an outdated and inadequate measure of what it takes to make ends meet. Researchers commonly use two times a poverty income as a better gauge of a selfsufficiency income high enough to pay for essential needs.

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Following the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Statistical Policy Directive 14, the Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is in poverty. If a family's total income is less than the family's threshold, then that family and every individual in it is considered in poverty. The official poverty thresholds do not vary geographically, but they are updated for inflation using Consumer Price Index (CPI-U). The official poverty definition uses money income before taxes and does not include capital gains or noncash benefits (such as public housing, Medicaid, and food stamps). Universe: population for whom poverty status is determined.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information Analysis

Unemployment includes those who did not have a job during the reference week, were available for work, and made specific efforts to find a job sometime during the 4 weeks prior to the reference week. Unemployment Rate is the percent of the civilian labor force that was unemployed (i.e. unemployment divided by labor force).

Why is this indicator important? - The unemployment rate is one of the most important and widely cited metrics of labor market health. It measures the share of the labor force that does not have a job but is actively looking for work. The indicator does not include unemployed people who have given up looking for a job (discouraged workers) or those who are forced to work part-time hours due to poor economic conditions when they are available and willing to work full-time (involuntary part-time workers).

Report Indicators

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Adult smoking prevalence is the estimated percent of the adult population that currently smokes every day or “most days” and has smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime. The data are collected in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Why is this indicator important? - Each year, approximately 443,000 premature deaths can be attributed to smoking. Cigarette smoking is identified as a cause of various cancers, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory conditions, as well as low birth weight and other adverse health outcomes. Measuring the prevalence of tobacco use in the population can alert communities to potential adverse health outcomes and can be valuable for assessing the need for cessation programs or the effectiveness of existing programs.

Source Link: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Percent of adults 18 years and over who report not receiving sufficient social-emotional support. Universe: U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population aged 18 years and older residing in households.

Source Link: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

individuals with a BMI greater or equal to 30 are considered obese.

Why is this indicator important? - Overweight and obesity and their associated health problems have a significant economic impact on the U.S. health care system in terms of both direct (e.g. treatment of obesity-related diseases) and indirect costs (e.g., restricted mobility).

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

(reported cases per 100,000)

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

There are different types of cancer (based on the organ of origin), and these cancers occur in varying frequencies and with varying lethality. Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000 unless otherwide noted.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

There are different types of cancer (based on the organ of origin), and these cancers occur in varying frequencies and with varying lethality. Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000 unless otherwide noted.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

(per 100,000 children ages 1-4)

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease (CLRD), Primarily Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2011. The disease is likely to be underreported because the CDC reports that more than 50 percent of adults with low pulmonary function are not aware that they had COPD. A number of groups are likely to report COPD including people age 65 to 74, women, current and former smokers, and people with asthma, as well as people with lower incomes and/or education levels. Exposure to tobacco smoke is a key factor in the development of COPD, but exposure to air pollutants, genetic factors and history of respiratory infection play a role, too. Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Liver disease, chronic and cirrhosis, Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

There are different types of cancer (based on the organ of origin), and these cancers occur in varying frequencies and with varying lethality. Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000 unless otherwide noted.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Heart disease is an umbrella term for a variety of diseases that impair the normal functioning of the heart due to structural or functional abnormalities of the heart or of the blood vessels supplying the heart. Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Crude death rate is the number of deaths (from all causes) in a given period age-adjusted per 100,000 people.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000

Source Link: County Health Rankings

Ratio of population to dentists

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

There are different types of cancer (based on the organ of origin), and these cancers occur in varying frequencies and with varying lethality. Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000 unless otherwide noted.

Source Link: County Health Rankings

(cases per 100,000)

Why is this indicator important? - HIV is an important marker for a range of risky health behaviors and can be a valuable source of data for communities in understanding the toll that risky health behaviors take on their population and health care system.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

There are different types of cancer (based on the organ of origin), and these cancers occur in varying frequencies and with varying lethality. Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000 unless otherwide noted.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

There are different types of cancer (based on the organ of origin), and these cancers occur in varying frequencies and with varying lethality. Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000 unless otherwide noted.

Source Link: County Health Rankings

Ratio of population to mental health providers

Source Link: County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program

Average number of mentally unhealthy days reported in past 30 days (age-adjusted)

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Body Mass Index (BMI), which describes relative weight for height, is significantly correlated with total body fat content. Individuals with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight, while individuals with a BMI greater or equal to 30 are considered obese.

Why is this indicator important? - Overweight and obesity and their associated health problems have a significant economic impact on the U.S. health care system in terms of both direct (e.g. treatment of obesity-related diseases) and indirect costs (e.g., restricted mobility).

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Percent of infants born at low birthweight (less than 2,500 grams or 5lbs. 8 oz.)

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Population without Medical Insurance. Universe: Civilian noninstitutionalzed population.

Source Link: County Health Rankings

Percentage of adults aged 20 and over reporting no leisure-time physical activity

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Prenatal care is the medical care provided to expectant mothers and their developing babies.

Why is this indicator important? - Early and regular prenatal care increases the likelihood babies are born healthy by detecting medical complications and providing information on nutrition, rest and the need to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other choices that could harm the mother and her baby. Early and regular care also is linked to improved birth weight and decreased risk of preterm delivery. Early prenatal care provides a means for referrals to community programs and services (e.g., Women, Infants and Children, Healthy Start, Baby Love, treatment services, tobacco cessation programs) to support the expectant mother and her family members throughout the pregnancy. Babies born to mothers who receive no prenatal care are three times more likely to be born low birth weight and five times more likely to die than babies born to mothers who receive prenatal care.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Ever Told They Have Diabetes

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000

Source Link: County Health Rankings

Premature death is represented by the “Years of Potential Life Lost” (YPLL) before age 75. Every death occurring before the age of 75 contributes to the total number of years of potential life lost. For example, a person dying at age 25 contributes 50 years of life lost, whereas a person who dies at age 65 contributes 10 years of life lost. The YPLL measure is presented as a rate per 100,000 people and is age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. population.

Why is this indicator important? - Measuring premature mortality, rather than overall mortality, reflects the intent to focus attention on deaths that could have been prevented. Measuring YPLL allows communities to target resources to high-risk areas and further investigate the causes of premature death. YPLL emphasizes deaths of younger persons, whereas statistics that include all mortality are dominated by deaths of the elderly.

Source Link: County Health Rankings

Number of hospital stays for ambulatory-care sensitive conditions per 1,000 Medicare enrollees

Why is this indicator important? - Ambulatory caresensitive conditions include convulsions, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bacterial pneumonia, asthma, congestive heart failure, hypertension, diabetes and dehydration. The rate of preventable hospital stays is often used to assess the effectiveness and accessibility of primary health care. A weakness of this measure is that it uses Medicare claims data, which limits the population evaluated to mostly individuals age 65 and older. This measure, therefore, may potentially miss trends and disparities among younger age groups.

Source Link: County Health Rankings

Ratio of population to primary care physicians

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

There are different types of cancer (based on the organ of origin), and these cancers occur in varying frequencies and with varying lethality. Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000 unless otherwide noted.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

There are different kinds of stroke: Ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, and transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke). Most strokes (85 percent) are ischemic strokes. These strokes occur when an artery to the brain becomes blocked, usually by a blood clot. Hemorrhagic strokes result from leakage or rupture of an artery in the brain. A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is different from a major stroke because blockage of blood flow is temporary (usually no more than 5 min.). A TIA is a warning sign of a future stroke. Stroke death rate (per 100,000) (age-adjusted to 2000 std population)

Why is this indicator important? - Many risk factors contributing to stroke are behavioral, and thus targets for stroke prevention (e.g., high fat and salty diets, lack of exercise, overweight, drinking alcohol, using tobacco). Certain racial and ethnic populations have higher risk for stroke (i.e., blacks, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, and Alaska Natives). Both men and women are susceptible to stroke. Strokes are more common in men, but death due to stroke is more common in women. The chance of having a stroke doubles every 10 years after age 55. Gender has mixed associations. Strokes are more common for men, but women are more likely to die from stroke than are men. Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, and Alaska Natives have a greater chance of having a stroke than do non- Hispanic whites or Asians. The risk of having a first stroke is nearly twice as high for blacks than for whites. Blacks are also more likely to die from stroke than are whites.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Age-Adjusted Rates per 100,000

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Teen Pregnancy rate is the number of pregnancies among females age 15-19 per 1,000 female population age 15-19.

Why is this indicator important? - The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy has conducted extensive research on the social costs of teen pregnancy. The Campaign’s research shows that “children born to teen mothers are more likely to drop out of high school, become teen parents themselves, use Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, experience abuse/neglect, enter the foster care system, or be raised in single parent families.”

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Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Child Abuse Reports

In Pennsylvania, county Child Protective Services agencies are responsible for responding to child abuse reports and assessing the risk of harm to the child. These agencies prioritize their services based on the risk level of each potential abuse situation. Pennsylvania law requires that Child Protective Services agencies investigate a child abuse allegation within 30 days of an initial report and file a report with findings within 60 days.

Why is this indicator important? - Child abuse has detrimental long-term effects on victims, from mental health problems to increased future criminal behavior.

Source Link: Kids Count Data Center, A Project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Child Care Works Program, funded by the state and federal governments, provides subsidies to low-income families to help defray the high costs of quality child care. Eligible parents must have incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line and be working at least 20 hours per week.

Why is this indicator important? - Researchers agree that access to early childhood education and quality child care affects a child’s odds of future success, including graduating high school, holding a job and staying out of prison.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information Analysis

Why is this indicator important? - Unemployment insurance is a vital part of the safety net for individuals who lose their jobs and also serves as an “automatic stabilizer” in economic downturns, allowing families of jobless workers to maintain higher levels of consumption thanks to unemployment insurance replacing a portion of lost wages. Jobless workers are eligible for unemployment compensation in Pennsylvania if they lost their job through no fault of their own. Additionally, these individuals are required to actively search for work every week that they are receiving benefits.

Source Link: Kids Count Data Center, A Project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Foster care is designed to provide temporary support to ensure the well-being of children living in an unsafe environment. The Statewide Adoption Network (SWAN) is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and is responsible for supporting county agencies in finding permanent homes for children as fast as possible.

Why is this indicator important? - Research has shown that spending long periods of time in foster care has detrimental long-term effects. Foster children have a higher likelihood to experience mental health problems, drop out of high school, or end up in prison.

Source Link: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Why is this indicator important? - Income from social programs is a vital part of the nation’s safety net, insulating vulnerable populations from economic hardship. Some programs are intended to help low-income individuals stay out of poverty, especially during economic downturns, while others are targeted at senior citizens. In total, about 70 percent of Americans benefit from social program income at some point in their lives.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information Analysis

Why is this indicator important? - Unemployment insurance is a vital part of the safety net for individuals who lose their jobs and also serves as an “automatic stabilizer” in economic downturns, allowing families of jobless workers to maintain higher levels of consumption thanks to unemployment insurance replacing a portion of lost wages. Jobless workers are eligible for unemployment compensation in Pennsylvania if they lost their job through no fault of their own. Additionally, these individuals are required to actively search for work every week that they are receiving benefits.

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Means of transportation to work refers to the principal mode of travel or type of conveyance that the worker usually used to get from home to work. People who used different means of transportation on different days of the week were asked to specify the one they used most often. Universe: Workers 16 years and over.

Why is this indicator important? - Adequate and well-maintained transportation infrastructure is vital to any community’s success and well-being. The region also includes a growing list of bicycle trails and bicycle lanes. According BicyclePA which maintains hundreds of miles of bicycle trails throughout Pennsylvania the organization’s Route J is a 200-mile long trail that cuts through the Capital Region along the Susquehanna River. The region also supports the Harrisburg International Airport which provides air travel for the three counties of the Capital Region. The airport serves more than 1.2 million passengers and handles about 150,000 aircraft operations every year. Increased awareness of the impacts transportation choices can have on the environment has caused some people to alter their commuting habits. It is important that the region invest in both traditional infrastructure – bridges and roads – and in projects that could generate health, environmental and quality-of-life benefits, such as sidewalks, bike path and additional public transit routes.

Source Link: Pennsylvania State Police, Uniform Crime Reporting System

Reported arrest

Why is this indicator important? - Each year, domestic violence damages hundreds of families across the state, weakening family stability, uprooting children, and resulting in fatalities in some cases. Sexual violence also is detrimental to a victim’s feeling of safety, stability and future interpersonal relationships.

Source Link: Pennsylvania State Police, Uniform Crime Reporting System

Reported offenses

Why is this indicator important? - Each year, domestic violence damages hundreds of families across the state, weakening family stability, uprooting children, and resulting in fatalities in some cases. Sexual violence also is detrimental to a victim’s feeling of safety, stability and future interpersonal relationships.

Source Link: Pennsylvania State Police, Uniform Crime Reporting System

Reported arrest

Why is this indicator important? - Each year, domestic violence damages hundreds of families across the state, weakening family stability, uprooting children, and resulting in fatalities in some cases. Sexual violence also is detrimental to a victim’s feeling of safety, stability and future interpersonal relationships.

Source Link: Pennsylvania State Police, Uniform Crime Reporting System

Reported offenses

Why is this indicator important? - Each year, domestic violence damages hundreds of families across the state, weakening family stability, uprooting children, and resulting in fatalities in some cases. Sexual violence also is detrimental to a victim’s feeling of safety, stability and future interpersonal relationships.

Source Link: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Abalysis

Why is this indicator important? - Income from social programs is a vital part of the nation’s safety net, insulating vulnerable populations from economic hardship. Some programs are intended to help low-income individuals stay out of poverty, especially during economic downturns, while others are targeted at senior citizens. In total, about 70 percent of Americans benefit from social program income at some point in their lives. Growing reliance on the social safety net in the past decade can partially be attributed to worsening economic conditions that increase the number of people using unemployment insurance, Medicaid and TANF. In addition, as the Baby Boomer generation begins to retire and the senior population continues to rise, a larger share of personal income will come from Social Security and Medicare.

Source Link: Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

SNAP, formally known as the Food Stamp Program, is designed to help low-income families buy groceries. To qualify for SNAP in Pennsylvania, a household’s income must be below a certain level based on household size. If a household meets the income requirement, they will receive their SNAP benefits, up to a monthly maximum value, on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) ACCESS Card. Similar to a debit card, the EBT ACCESS Card allows participants to purchase groceries with their pre-loaded benefits, avoiding the stigma often associated with using food stamps.

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Travel time to work refers to the total number of minutes that it usually took the worker to get from home to work during the reference week. The elapsed time includes time spent waiting for public transportation, picking up passengers in carpools, and time spent in other activities related to getting to work. Universe: Workers 16 years and over who did not work at home.

Why is this indicator important? - Adequate and well-maintained transportation infrastructure is vital to any community’s success and well-being. The region also includes a growing list of bicycle trails and bicycle lanes. According BicyclePA which maintains hundreds of miles of bicycle trails throughout Pennsylvania the organization’s Route J is a 200-mile long trail that cuts through the Capital Region along the Susquehanna River. The region also supports the Harrisburg International Airport which provides air travel for the three counties of the Capital Region. The airport serves more than 1.2 million passengers and handles about 150,000 aircraft operations every year. Increased awareness of the impacts transportation choices can have on the environment has caused some people to alter their commuting habits. It is important that the region invest in both traditional infrastructure – bridges and roads – and in projects that could generate health, environmental and quality-of-life benefits, such as sidewalks, bike path and additional public transit routes.

Report Indicators

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

A long-lasting physical, mental, or emotional condition. This condition can make it difficult for a person to do activities such as walking, climbing stairs, dressing, bathing, learning, or remembering. This condition can also impede a person from being able to go outside the home alone or to work at a job or business. Universe: Civilian noninstitutionalized population

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Average Household Size - A measure obtained by dividing the number of people in households by the total number of households (or householders). Universe: Occupied housing units.

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Female householder, no husband present: With own children under 18 years. Households are classified by type according to the sex of the householder and the presense of relatives. Universe: Familiees

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Persons 65 + living alone - Households are classified by type according to the sex of the householder and the presense of relatives. Universe: Nonfamily Households.

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Refers to the distinction between owner-occupied and renter-occupied housing units. Universe: Housing Units

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

The age which divides the population into two numerically equal groups; that is, half the people are younger than this age and half are older. Universe: Total population

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Selected monthly owner costs are calculated from the sum of payment for mortgages, real estate taxes, various insurances, utilities, fuels, mobile home costs, and condominium fees. Listing the items separately improves the accuracy and provides additional detail. When combined with income, a new item is created -- Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income. This item is used to measure housing affordability and excessive shelter costs. For example, many government agencies define excessive as costs that exceed 30 percent of household income. Universe: Owner-occupied housing units

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Selected monthly renter costs are calculated from the sum of payment for rents, various insurances, utilities, fuels, mobile home costs, and condominium fees. Listing the items separately improves the accuracy and provides additional detail. When combined with income, a new item is created -- Selected Monthly Renter Costs as a Percentage of Household Income. This item is used to measure housing affordability and excessive shelter costs. For example, many government agencies define excessive as costs that exceed 30 percent of household income. Universe: Renter-occupied housing units

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Age 0-4, Age 5 - 17, Age 18 - 24, Age 25 - 34, Age 35 - 44, Age 45 - 54, Age 55 - 64, Age 65+, Age 85+. Universe: Total population

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Male, female. Universe: Total population

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

White, Black, Asian, Native American/Alaska Native/native Hawaiin/Pacific Islander, Some other race, Multiple races. Universe: Total population

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

The language currently spoken at home , either English only or a non-English language which is used to determine how wll English is spoken. Speak English less than very well. Unverse: Population 5 years and over

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Total and Married-couple households. Households are classified by type according to the sex of the householder and the presense of relatives. Universe: Households.

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

All people, male and female, child and adult, living in a given geographic area. Universe: Total population

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Urban is considered a densily settled area that has at least 2,500 people. Every other place is considered rural

Source Link: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

A civilian veteran is a person 18 years old or over who has served (even for a short time), but is not now serving, on active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or the Coast Guard, or who served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II. People who served in the National Guard or military Reserves are classified as veterans only if they were ever called or ordered to active duty, not counting the 4-6 months for initial training or yearly summer camps. All other civilians 16 years old and over are classified as nonveterans. Universe: Civilian population 25 years and over