“Overall inclusion” reflects the ability of historically excluded populations—in this case, lower-income residents and people of color—to contribute to and benefit from economic prosperity. We measure this by combining economic inclusion and racial inclusion.
Although our measures capture inclusion for residents within a city, they may lead to higher scores for cities that have limited disparities by race or income within their boundaries but have excluded lower-income residents from residing within city boundaries in the first place. Similarly, although our measures of racial inclusion capture inclusion for residents of color versus white non-Hispanic residents, they may mask inequities between different racial and ethnic groups that experience exclusion in different ways. Therefore, we encourage users to use the rankings to track cities over time rather than focusing on absolute rankings.
To learn more about why we selected these indicators and how we measured them, click here.
Economic health captures the strength of a city’s local economy. We measure this by looking at employment growth, the unemployment rate, the housing vacancy rate, and median family income.
Although no single model for success exists, we can learn a lot from cities that have become more inclusive, particularly as they recovered from downturns. How did those cities try to ensure that all residents shared in the economic recovery?
To answer this question, we met with leaders from four cities that improved their racial and economic inclusion as they recovered from economic distress. By combining their insights with previous research about inclusive growth, we identified the following eight building blocks for inclusion growth.
To learn more about our case-study cities, the lessons learned from them, and examples of these building blocks in action, see the report Inclusive Recovery in US Cities.