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EJSCREEN: Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool

Overview of Demographic Indicators in EJSCREEN

EJSCREEN uses demographic factors as very general indicators of a community's potential susceptibility to the types of environmental factors included in this screening tool, as explained further in the EJSCREEN Technical Documentation. EJSCREEN has been designed in the context of EPA's EJ policies, including EPA's Final Guidance on Considering Environmental Justice During the Development of an Action (U.S. EPA, 2010). That guidance document explained EPA's focus on demographics as an indicator of potential susceptibility to environmental pollution.

There are six demographic indicators:

  1. Percent Low-Income:
    • The percent of a block group's population in households where the household income is less than or equal to twice the federal "poverty level."
  2. Percent Minority:
    • The percent of individuals in a block group who list their racial status as a race other than white alone and/or list their ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino. That is, all people other than non-Hispanic white-alone individuals. The word "alone" in this case indicates that the person is of a single race, not multiracial.
  3. Less than high school education:
    • Percent of people age 25 or older in a block group whose education is short of a high school diploma.
  4. Linguistic isolation:
    • Percent of people in a block group living in linguistically isolated households. A household in which all members age 14 years and over speak a non-English language and also speak English less than "very well" (have difficulty with English) is linguistically isolated.
  5. Individuals under age 5:
    • Percent of people in a block group under the age of 5.
  6. Individuals over age 64:
    • Percent of people in a block group over the age of 64.

EJSCREEN provides two indexes that are based on the above demographic indicators:

  • A Demographic Index is based on the average of two demographic indicators; Percent Low-Income and Percent Minority.

Read more detailed information about Demographic Indicators in the EJSCREEN Technical Documentation, including data sources.