Index for Identifying Communities with Serious Disadvantage

March 1, 2022

The White House has announced a new framework for identifying communities with serious disadvantages. This framework will be used to prioritize certain Federal investments. See an overview of the new effort here:

The methodology looks at a wide array of different indicators at the Census tract level. It scores tracts based on the relative rank of each tract for each indicator. Tracts identified as disadvantaged must have a critical environment/climate score combined with critical socioeconomic factors score. The methodology is described here:

The dataset is very robust, and can be used for a variety of different purposes. The Census tract level of analysis makes it useful in assessing relative needs for rural and frontier locations. It is unclear whether the scoring methodology has any urban bias, but the richness of the underlying dataset is helpful.

You can explore the dataset for yourself using this online tool:

Note that this is a beta release of the dataset and tool. It will be updated with Census 2020 tract definitions and data in the upcoming months. It is anticipated that the White House will identify which programs will use this index for prioritization once the beta testing period has been completed.

Date: March 1, 2022

Tags: Community Assessment, Disparities, Data, Climate, Environment