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Index Shows High, But Declining, Opportunity in CT

Measure of America and Opportunity Nation

In an index that measures opportunities for education, jobs, civic life, and the like, Connecticut continues to score higher than the national average – but the state dropped in every category since 2011.

The 2013 Opportunity Index was developed by Measure of America and Opportunity Nation. The index provides an overview of the opportunities available to residents at the state and county level. According to Opportunity Index 2011-2013 Findings, the national average Opportunity Score rose to 50.9 (out of 100) in 2013 from 50.0 in 2012 and 49.6 in 2011.

The authors found that since 2011, 26 states and Washington, DC improved their opportunity scores, while Connecticut and New Mexico saw a statistically significant decline; the scores of 22 states remained the same over this period. States with the top three opportunity scores are Vermont, Minnesota, and North Dakota. Vermont has high scores in all three dimensions, and it ranks first in community health and civic life, with a score of 77.9. Meanwhile, North Dakota ranked top in jobs and local economy.

The index measures 16 factors covering three dimensions: jobs and local economy, education, and community health and civic life.

The affordable housing factor was included in the jobs and local economy measure, and refers to the percentage of households that spend less than 30% of their household income on housing costs. According to the index, just 57.7% of Connecticut households pay less than 30% of their household income on housing. Compared with the national average of 62.2%, Eureka County in Nevada has the best scores in this category with a rate of 90.6%, while Miami-Dade County of Florida scores the worst, at 43.7%. Among the 31 states that experienced declines in affordable housing scores, 12 of these states are located in the South, accounting for 39% of the nationwide decrease.

You can see how your state did here


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