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Policy makers and community leaders can use this tool to inform decision-making and distribution of resources

April 4, 2023 (CHICAGO) —Discovery Partners Institute, part of the University of Illinois System, today announced the launch of the Illinois Socio-Demographic Equity Dashboard, a comprehensive tool that characterizes the neighborhoods of Illinois using several variables known to have lasting impacts on residents’ lives. The dashboard provides an in-depth analysis of the six distinct neighborhood types in Illinois and their corresponding socio-demographic variables, allowing users to better understand the characteristics of communities throughout the state.

“Where you live matters, and our dashboard offers valuable insights into how socio-demographic factors can impact lives,” said Meg Bates, Director of DPI’s Illinois Workforce and Education Research Collaborative (IWERC), which built the dashboard using data sourced from the 2019 American Community Survey. “We see this dashboard as a step towards creating a more equitable and inclusive future for all Illinois residents.”

The dashboard will soon offer users the ability to evaluate access and opportunity to various education and workforce resources across the state, including workforce development programs, early childhood programs and services, community colleges, K-12 schools with computer science programs, K-12 schools and their evidence-based funding tier levels, post-secondary institutions with teaching programs, internet access, and many others. Researchers, policymakers, and community leaders can utilize the dashboard to inform policy decisions or distribution of resources.

“Maps are powerful tools for visualizing data, but they are only one part of the story,” said IWERC research specialist Stephanie Werner. “This dashboard goes beyond simply showing where people live, providing a comprehensive analysis of the various factors that impact outcomes for Illinois residents. This is not just another map – it’s a vital resource for ensuring equitable access to resources needed to help neighborhoods thrive.”

The dashboard is available at