Data is most meaningful when placed in context. 

It’s one thing, say, to know that the median home sale price in metro Atlanta is $233,000. It’s much more powerful when you learn that the figure is $525,000 in the Seattle region and $193,000 in Chattanooga. 

But finding accurate data can be difficult and time-consuming. Where do you start? What sources are reputable? 

Dashboard with information about 100 metros across the countryNow, there’s an easy solution. The data experts at the Atlanta Regional Commission and Neighborhood Nexus have developed a user-friendly, interactive tool they call the 100 Metros Dashboard, which provides a wealth of data about the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S. 

With a few clicks, you can take a deep dive into a range of issues: housing, education, health, employment, economic development, and commuting. There’s even a handy “comparison” tab that enables users to quickly gauge how two metros stack up on key metrics.

A recent Regional Snapshot from ARC’s 33n blog provides more details.

Quick note: The data used to develop the 100 Metros Dashboard is timely, but it’s not in “real time. That’s to say, the data points may not yet capture the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sources include the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  

We poked around on the dashboard to see the kinds of insights that are available. Here’s just a taste of what we found: 

  • Highly diverse region: More than a third of metro Atlanta residents are Black (34%), ranking No. 6 in the nation, just behind New Orleans. Jackson, Miss. tops the list at 50%. 
  • Low rates of health insurance: Metro Atlanta ranks 90th in the percentage of adults who have no health insurance (13%).
  • Lengthy commutes: Metro Atlanta commuters had the eighth-longest trip to work (this was before the pandemic), at 32.5 minutes. New Yorkers had the longest at nearly 38 minutes, followed by Stockton, Calif., at 36 minutes. 
  • Large foreign-born population: Metro Atlanta ranks No. 24 in share of residents who are foreign born, at 14%. The Miami region tops the list at 42%, followed by San Jose, Calif., at 40%.
  • Fast-growing population: Metro ranks fourth in total population growth since 2010, and added the 5th most building permits in 2019.

This just scratches the surface, of course. Take the site for spin and unlock the power of this innovative site. 

What’s Next ATL, produced by the Atlanta Regional Commission, is a community resource that explores how metro Atlanta is growing and changing, and how the region is addressing its most pressing challenges.