What is Erie Vital Signs?
Erie Vital Signs is an initiative that provides critical data and information about Erie County and its communities. Community indicators tell the story of our state, helping us to clearly see our strengths and challenges and to focus our efforts to improve our region. The 8 data categories, 30 topic pages, and 48 key indicators on this site track critical aspects of Erie County's economy and quality of life.
Erie Vital Signs interprets the indicator information through dashboards, trend summaries, charts, graphs, and maps. Information is provided on current efforts to advance our region, as well as links to local community resources. From this foundation of objective analysis of a common set of data, we can work together to address our region's challenges and build on our strengths.
Why were those areas chosen as comparison points?
Erie's peer counties were selected based on a process that sought to identify counties with similar characteristics.
The full description can be found at: www.erievitalsigns.org/peer-counties
Who participated in the development of Erie Vital Signs?
Erie Vital Signs was launched by The Erie Community Foundation. The Foundation consulted various stakeholders and data experts throughout the county for their guidance during its development. The Erie County Data Center coordinated creation of the website and provided the data and analysis.
What is an indicator?
An indicator is a measure that helps to describe an economic, environmental, social, or cultural condition over time. An indicator is often expressed as a rate or percent, such as the poverty rate, the unemployment rate, or the air quality index.
How did you select the indicators?
We studied a list of available indicators and, with assistance from local experts in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, determined which ones would be most significant to highlight important trends and issues in our area.
What criteria do you use when selecting a community indicator?
Where does the data come from?
Much of the data comes from existing sources, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, state and federal government agencies, and universities. No "primary data collection" was performed, meaning that all data shown on the site was collected by another source, often a state or federal agency. You can find the data source for each indicator on the data table and charts provided for that indicator. Raw numbers were converted to rates and dollars were adjusted for inflation to provide a reasonable basis for comparisons.
Why is some of the data several years old?
In gathering data for Erie Vital Signs some data are available every year and regularly and quickly updated, other datasets take longer to update, so the data on the website contains the most recent data, but may be 2-3 years old.
How often will the data be updated?
The Erie County Data Center will provide Erie Vital Signs with the most timely information available, updating indicators on an ongoing basis.
What is the American Community Survey (ACS)?
The U.S. Census American Commmunity Survey, ACS for short, is a demographics survey program that regularly gathers information such as ancestry, citizenship, educational attainment, income, language proficiency, migration, disability, employment, and housing characteristics. These data are used by many public-sector, private-sector, and not-for-profit stakeholders to allocate funding, track shifting demographics, plan for emergencies, and learn about local communities. The survey is sent to approximately 295,000 addresses monthly (or 3.5 million per year), and is the largest household survey that the Census Bureau administers