Regional Indicators intro

Regional Indicators

ON TO 2050 includes a set of regional indicators, which are intended to serve as benchmarks for monitoring the progress of plan implementation. Where possible, each plan recommendation is tracked by one or more indicators. Many of these indicators were previously used to track the implementation of GO TO 2040. Indicator target values for the years 2025 and 2050 have been specified as a way to quantify actual plan progress and to track how well the region is achieving its goals in both the near- and long-term. The targets should not be viewed as projections or forecasts, but rather as desired outcomes that represent the optimistic range of achievable outcomes assuming implementation of the recommendations of ON TO 2050.

The following criteria were used to identify suitable indicators:

  • Plan Priority: Does the indicator help to measure a major recommendation, or is it merely interesting information?
  • Consistency: Can change in this indicator cumulatively track our progress, or does high variability limit its utility? For example, certain American Community Survey (ACS) data can have high margins of error and report large changes from year-to-year, since it reflects a 1 percent sample of the population, while the actual year-to-year change may be small or nonexistent.
  • Accessibility: Is the measure meaningful and easy to communicate to the general public, rather than just planners and other subject matter experts?
  • Data Quality and Reliability: Can the data be collected from the same source over time? Is it updated consistently and at an appropriate frequency? Is the data available for the whole region?
  • Level of Effort: Can the necessary data be easily obtained? Does the dataset require CMAP staff to spend significant time on cleaning or analysis?

Regional Economic Indicators

As a global economic center, metropolitan Chicago is poised to prosper in an increasingly interconnected world.  ON TO 2050 seeks to maintain and strengthen this position by building on the region's many assets – diverse industries, extensive transportation system, a skilled workforce, and preeminent educational and research institutions. To inform communities and policy makers about the health of the region's economy, CMAP's Regional Economic Indicators microsite includes data and analysis tracking a wide variety of regional economic indicators.  Focusing on four major economic themes, the site's analysis covers broad economic trends and major industry clusters, as well as workforce and innovation metrics.