There are hundreds if not thousands of reports published each year measuring the economic health of the United States--its gross national product, interest and employment rates, or growth in manufacturing. This week a report was released that focuses not on economic measures but on measures of "well-being" in the lives of Americans. "The Measure of America 2013-2014" is a project of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), an independent, nonprofit leader in international social science research. It uses a tailored and updated version of the Human Development Index, first used by the United Nations, in order to measure the key factors in human development that shape the everyday lives of ordinary Americans, their opportunities and potential for living "freely chosen lives of value." The latest Measure of America report is a revealing portrait comparing states and 25 metropolitan areas--and demographic groups in each--over time and with each other, based on a wide range of indicators, including most prominently life expectancy, educational attainment, and median earnings. It makes for fascinating reading and is also a good source of statistical information for public policy research.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat
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