Dear friends and colleagues,
2015 included significant milestones for Southeast Louisiana with the fifth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. For these important events, The Data Center disseminated key data that measured our progress toward recovery and prosperity…and underscored where we have more work to do. In case you missed it, we’ve hit the highlights below.
The New Orleans Index at Ten 
revealed that New Orleanians have worked to both rebuild and better their city and region, and that the regional economy has rebounded well. However, prosperity in the region has not been widely shared as evidenced by growing income inequality and chronically high poverty rates.
The Index was accompanied by ten reportscontributed by leading scholarsthat assess progress in key post-Katrina reforms.  
To make this wealth of scholarship easy to digest, we condensed it into two short videos.  You can view The New Orleans Index at Ten briefing here, and the essay collection briefing here.
showed that the water management economy has the potential to become a self-sustaining cluster. It identified the demand drivers behind the water management economy and measured the economic, social, and political factors that are needed to create a true water management economic cluster. The Coastal Index found that fundamentals, such as an existing strength and export potential, are in place, but that leaders of the region must commit to strategies that will support the development beyond a mere concentration of jobs, including addressing gaps in workforce, investment, and public funding.
The Youth Index
was introduced to provide a snapshot of the condition of children/youth in New Orleans. Although there were some indicators for which the youth of New Orleans fared better than those of the state and nation, in most cases, New Orleans fared worse than both. For example, the percent of children living in poverty is more than 43 percent, significantly higher than both the state and the U.S. rates.
The Youth Index will be used by YouthShift, a youth master planning effort, to inform the development of goals and strategies that can improve outcomes for children/youth age 0 to 24.
Sneak peek at 2016
This coming year will bring more coastal and youth focused research. We will be issuing a series of briefs that provide more in-depth analysis of the water management economy and the state of the Louisiana coast. We also will be publishing the next installment of The Youth Index to assess changes in child/youth well-being. In addition, we will soon release an update to one of our most popular data resources, Who Lives in New Orleans and Metro Parishes Now? 
Whether looking back or ahead, we are ever conscious that it is you who brings our data to life.
With heart-felt thanks for all the work you do throughout the year,
The Data Center
Allison Plyer, Vicki Mack, Nihal Shrinath, and Caroline Heffernan

P.S. We have recently updated our 72 New Orleans Neighborhood Profiles with brand new data! This year The Data Center leveraged new technology to make both the Neighborhood Data Profiles and Who Lives automatically update when fresh data is released by the Census Bureau. You can check out the new Neighborhood Data Profiles here

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