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What are community indicators?

Community indicators help communities answer the question: “Are we there yet?” They are big picture measures that reflect the realities being experienced in our communities. Though the outcomes of these metrics are beyond any single agency’s entire control, they are useful in helping guide our City work to advance community-level goals.

Minneapolis community indicators

Our Minneapolis community indicators are each nested within an adopted city goal. Many could be cross-listed; for ease of review they are not.

Living well





Commute mode share

Commute mode share: (i) Percent of Minneapolis residents driving alone, (ii) Percent of Minneapolis workers driving alone, (iii) Percent of Minneapolis residents carpooling, (iv) Percent of Minneapolis residents using public transportation, (v) Percent of Minneapolis residents walking, (vi) Percent of Minneapolis residents taking a taxicab or motorcycle

Geographic area

Cost-burdened households

Percentage of households that pay more than 30 percent of their gross income for housing at (i) less than 30% Area Median Income, (ii) 31-50% Area Median Income, (iii) 51-80% Area Median Income

Race, geographic area

Quality housing infrastructure**

Percentage of residents living in quality housing, including infrastructure condition

Geographic area

Complete and livable neighborhoods**

Percentage of residents living in close proximity to amenities and services, potentially including frequent transit service, schools, healthy food, and parks or green spaces

Geographic area


Two measures:

·         Resident perception of safety

·         Number of violent crimes

Race, geographic area, sex

Creative vitality

Creative Vitality Index: Measures the impact of the creative sector. Includes the regional share of jobs, spending and organizations





One Minneapolis






Rate of unemployment

Race, geographic area, sex


Poverty rate

Race, geographic area, sex

Resident trust of Minneapolis City government*

 Rating of trust Minneapolis residents feel toward
Minneapolis City government through a Resident Survey question
similar to the following:

“How much trust do you have that, in interactions with Minneapolis City government …

a.      You will be treated with respect

b.      You will be treated fairly

c.       Important information will be made public

d.      Your participation in City decision-making can make a difference”


Race, geographic area, sex

Healthy food access

Percentage of residents living in Low Healthy Food Access Areas. Low Healthy Food Access Areas must meet poverty, vehicle access and year-round healthy food source criteria.

Geographic area

Equitable justice system

Low-level crime arrests


Reading proficiency

Percentage of third grade students who meet or exceed proficient reading levels

Race, geographic area


Rate of hospitalization from asthma

Geographic area

Infant mortality

Infant mortality rate

Race and mother’s country of birth

A hub of economic activity and innovation






Number of individuals employed in the 20 largest employment sectors in Minneapolis

Employment sector, race, sex, geographic area


Minneapolis sales and use tax revenue

Geographic area

Business startups

Number of employees employed by start-ups

Employment sector, sex, age, education, race

Educational attainment

Percentage of adults aged 25 and older with a high school diploma (or equivalent), some college and college degree

Race, geographic area, sex


Average monthly earnings of employees with stable jobs

Employment sector, sex, age, education, race

Great places





Air quality

Days with air pollutant concentrations exceeding health-based levels


Healthy lakes, streams and rivers

Two measures:

·         Lake Aesthetic and User Recreation Index (LAURI):  Public health, aesthetics, habitat quality, water clarity, recreational access for Minneapolis’ eight swimming lakes

·         The number of impairments of Minneapolis surface-water bodies (includes lakes, creeks, wetlands and Mississippi River)

Geographic area




Geographic area, type of impairment

Garbage and recycling

Total waste stream and disposal method (garbage, recycling, organics)


Greenhouse gas emissions

Citywide greenhouse gas emissions by activity


Access to parks and green space*

Two measures:

·         Resident rating of proximity to quality parks

·         Resident access to public green space and tree canopy at three tiers: good, limited and low

Geographic area, race, sex


Geographic area

Quality of roads and bridges

Average Pavement Condition Index ratings and bridge condition information

Type of street (MSA and residential)

A City that works





Quality of City services*

Resident rating of overall satisfaction with City services

Geographic area, race, sex

City employee engagement

City of Minneapolis overall employee engagement (composite measure)


Access to City information*

Resident rating of ability to get information about City services and programs

Geographic area, race, sex

Diversity of City workforce

Percentage of females and people of color in City of Minneapolis workforce

Job classification

Value for tax dollar*

Resident rating of value for tax dollar

Geographic area, race, sex


* 2016 Minneapolis Resident Survey question

** Formulation of this indicator will be undertaken as part of Minneapolis’ upcoming Comprehensive Planning process


Our process for setting community indicators

Minneapolis’ community indicators were developed through a year-long process and establishment of indicator criteria. First, a thorough review of current Minneapolis measures and national best practices led to the development of a draft set. Second, over 1,500 community members participated in an engagement process to help define what success of our city goals looked like. Finally, information collected in these first two steps was refined into a set of draft indicators that were discussed and refined with City staff and elected officials.

How we’ll monitor the indicators

Minneapolis will connect City work and community priorities as we report on our community indicators in City Goal Results Minneapolis reports. By blending a variety of data and analysis from City departments and community stakeholders, we will create powerful, insights-based reports that can drive policy and programmatic action. Minneapolis’ community indicators will be reviewed in two-year cycles. These cross-sector reports and accompanying roundtable discussions will highlight connections between the factors that influence a community indicator and, by doing so, better identify the levers the City controls to impact the overall trajectory of the indicator.


What are the Minneapolis Community Indicators and what are they not?

Minneapolis Community Indicators

How often will the measures be updated?

Except in special circumstances, Minneapolis’ community indicators will be reviewed every two years.

What criteria were used to filter through potential community indicators?

There are scores of potential community indicators for any entity to select or develop. Minneapolis used the following criteria when developing its set.


·    Strong connection to one of our city goals
·    Community-wide
·    Actionable (i.e. work within Minneapolis should be able to affect change)
·    Data is readily accessible

Additional criteria preferences

·    Data can be broken down by geography and/or demographics
·    Data is timely (i.e. limited lag between collection and distribution)
·    Data can be updated annually

Where does the data come from for this report and how often is it updated?

Data sources used in City Goal Results Minneapolis reports includes national, state and City-level data. It is a combination of reputable external secondary data sources and internal City programmatic data. Individual data sources and sets are selected based on data validity, reliability, comparability and our confidence that the data will be updated on a regular basis.

Data will be updated as new reports become available.

How does one “use” an indicator report; what should we do with this information?

Community data can and should be used to make decisions about how to run programs and allocate resources. Looking at each indicator within a single goal gives us a deeper understanding of conditions within the five goal areas (i.e. communities and neighborhoods, disparities among people, our economy, the places and green spaces that surround us and how the City enterprise works). Reviewing the indicators allows us to see the overall conditions that influence quality of life. The reports are cross-sector because the conditions that determine how any single indicator is faring are varied and complex. For example, the unemployment rate is influenced by more than the number of jobs available. Educational attainment, housing and transportation are additional important determinants of whether or not people are able to obtain jobs. Additionally, many organizations advocate for or provide programming to reduce the unemployment rate and improve general working conditions.

While the indicators themselves give us a data point on “what” is happening, the reports seek to illuminate “why” and identify the main levers our City government can pull to make change.

Questions? Feedback?

If you have questions or comments about the community indicators project or this webpage, please feel free to contact us.

Last updated Jan 13, 2017



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