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Social, Demographic and Economic Characteristics

Crowded  City Street at nightSocial, demographic and economic factors are closely linked to environmental issues. Social norms and politics may enhance or hinder efforts to achieve sustainable solutions. Different groups of people will have varying needs and desires as to what makes a community or watershed sustainable. It is important to be aware of the current demographic, social and economic patterns which may assist or conflict with planning and implementation of solutions down the road. Completing a chart which describes some of these factors will help in the overall planning process.

Check out Community Data, a web site with with economic trends for a range of geographic areas is now available on-line.Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

Inventorying and Information Gathering

The information sources listed below are tools that are designed to assist communities gather pertinent information to answer the question "Where Are We Now?" and to develop a Community Profile. Each of these sources contains a description of the resource, what information is available and where to locate that information, case studies, and any available mapping.

Population and Demographic Characteristics
Housing Characteristics
Economic Characteristics

Population and Demographic Characteristics

The identification of population and demographic characteristics will help to provide a better understanding of the community that is being served. Characteristics that may be helpful in creating a community profile include: Population, population density, median age, age and sex distributions, race, and educational attainment, median and/or per capita income and percent persons below poverty.

Available Information

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Housing Characteristics

The identification of housing characteristics will also be helpful in developing a community profile. Housing characteristics that may be helpful in developing the community profile could include: household size, housing type, housing density, age of housing stock, and the percentage of owner and renter occupied units.

Available Information

Information Sources

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Economic Characteristics

The identification of the current Economic Characteristics of a community will also be an important part of defining the community. Several economic characteristics that should be collected include information on major employers, employment by sector (agriculture, manufacturing, wholesale trends, retail trend and services), journey to work data and unemployment data.

Available Information

Information Sources

 

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