Mapping a More Equitable Future: The Metro Atlanta Equity Atlas

Posted February 28, 2014
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog mappingequity 2015

Atlanta has the high­est rate of income inequal­i­ty in the Unit­ed States, accord­ing to a new report from the Brook­ings Insti­tu­tion. In addi­tion, the Equal­i­ty of Oppor­tu­ni­ty Project last year iden­ti­fied Atlanta as one of the 10 least social­ly mobile metro areas in the country.

The Part­ner­ship for South­ern Equity’s recent­ly released Metro Atlanta Equi­ty Atlas, how­ev­er, aims to help change these bleak sta­tis­tics by equip­ping local advo­cates and lead­ers with the data to make the case for changes in poli­cies and prac­tices — and increase oppor­tu­ni­ties for Atlanta’s chil­dren and families.

The Metro Atlanta Equi­ty Atlas is an online data resource that exam­ines eight key qual­i­ty-of-life indi­ca­tors — eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment, edu­ca­tion, envi­ron­ment, health, hous­ing, pub­lic safe­ty, trans­porta­tion and demo­graph­ics — across the 28-coun­ty metro region. The atlas has an inno­v­a­tive map­ping tool and 200 maps that clear­ly reveal how where you live has a sig­nif­i­cant influ­ence on your access to opportunities.

The atlas expos­es the spa­tial mis­match between high con­cen­tra­tions of job oppor­tu­ni­ties in the north­ern metro area (north Ful­ton, north DeKalb, cen­tral Cobb, north Gwin­nett and south Forsyth coun­ties) and high rates of job­less­ness and pover­ty to the south (city of Atlanta, south DeKalb and north Clay­ton coun­ties). It also demon­strates the impor­tance of hav­ing pub­lic tran­sit and afford­able hous­ing near com­mer­cial devel­op­ment that offers jobs with fam­i­ly-sup­port­ing wages.

The atlas is the result of a col­lab­o­ra­tive effort of more than two dozen region­al orga­ni­za­tions and the Foun­da­tion. By address­ing the lack of avail­able neigh­bor­hood-lev­el data that can reveal bar­ri­ers to social mobil­i­ty, this new resource can pro­vide elect­ed offi­cials and com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers with the infor­ma­tion they need to cre­ate a more equi­table Atlanta. 

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