In 2015, the New York City Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence (CIDI) commissioned a Capstone team from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) to create a place-based index of socio-economic well-being in NYC communities. In a city such as New York, with its wealth of diversity and preferences, community well-being can be difficult to capture. Thus, the research integrated data on a wide range of indicators to capture both the complexities and holistic nature of well-being of New Yorkers within the City’s neighborhoods.

In 2019, a new Capstone team updated the initial well-being index. This process included:

  • Refining the list of Well-being Index indicators for each of the six domains included in the Index (Economic Security, Health, Education, Housing, Personal and Community Safety, Core Infrastructure and Services, Community Vitality) to enable a consistent annual Index updating strategy utilizing publicly available data sources, and if available City agency data resources.
  • Identifying optimal data resources and collecting data.
  • Developing templates to geocode data and translate datasets at various geographical levels to Neighborhood Tabulation Areas (NTAs), and to calculate the Index.
  • Documenting the statistical methodology to calculate the Index for each NTA.
  • Developing a methodology to compare Well-being Index of NTAs across domains and for each indicator within these domains, in 2019 and over time.