These Community Vital Signs are based on collaborative work done by Social Progress Imperative a global nonprofit supporting cities, regions, and nations to transition to inclusive growth models and the City of San José to develop a tool to help catalyze and facilitate community discussions on how to improve their community.

The Social Progress Index asks universally important questions about the success of society that measures of economic progress cannot alone address. The Index helps answer those questions with verifiable, credible, and contextually relevant indicators. It integrates a multitude of local, state, and federal data sources using the Social Progress Index methodology to develop a better understanding of a community.

Currently the Preliminary Social Progress Index on this site includes 20 of the 42 dimensions included in the San Jose effort for which there is census tract level information. The preliminary index includes census-tract-level data from the American Community Survey and the CDC Places 2020 database.

Basic Steps in the Methodology

  • Collect census tract information on each of the elements of the index by U.S. County
  • Group information by by sub-dimension.
  • Determine sort order for each element - distinguish between elements for which a higher value is a more positive social indicator and those where a lower value is more positive.
  • Perform principal component analysis within each sub-dimension. Use inverse values for elements where lower indicator is "better." Apply standard min-max functions.
  • Average the sub-dimensions within each of the three primary dimensions of the index.
  • Average the primary dimensions to develop the SPI for the census tract.
  • Present the census tract values in quartiles across the respective counties.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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