IMG_8644This page provides data about the overall well-being of communities. You can use these tools to compare patterns of energy extraction and production with widely used indicators of quality of life. Note, the tools are not yet set up to prove causal correlation according to scholarly standards of statistical significance.

(This beta version of website only includes coal datasets; datasets for the other listed energy sources will be included after the initial review and collaborator input).


American Human Development Index (by State)

Inequality, Education, Income (by County)

GINI Coefficient

Education Index

Income Index

Wellbeing: An Alternative View

American Human Development Index, 2010 (Bivariate Choropleth Example)

GINI Coefficient (Bivariate Choropleth Example)

American Human Development Index & Coal Production (by state)

Slashes on the map below distinguish coal-producing states according to high, medium, and low levels of production over the past three decades.  Colors on the map indicate the ranking for each state on the Human Development Index (HDI). Combining metrics for health, education, and income, the HDI is a widely used international measure of overall wellbeing.   To fit American realities, the Social Science Research Council adapted the international measures to create the American HDI used here.  (For more, see http://www.measureofamerica.org/human-development). An HDI below 4 indicates severe barriers to wellbeing and opportunity, and suggests a rough equivalence between those states and some of the least developed countries in the world.  (See 2010 United Nations report for international HDI rankings). 

American HDI shown for years 2000, 2005, 2008, 2010 (toggle switch on upper right hand side of map).  Cumulative coal production shown from 1983-2013. TO GET METRICS FOR ONE STATE. CLICK ON THAT STATE.

Inequality, Education, Income (by County)

This map depicts counties which were high, medium, and low producers of coal over the past three decades (indicated with slashes on the map). It also displays data about inequality, education, and income. The Gini Coefficient measures inequality on a scale of 0 (absolute equality) to  100 (absolute inequality). For more information on the Gini Coefficient, see this U.N. report.  Education and income indices are taken from the Measure of America portal developed by the Social Science Research Council.

Click on "select variable" on upper right hand side of map, to toggle between inequality, education, and income data at the county level from 2010.  Cumulative coal production shown from 1983-2013. TO GET METRICS FOR ONE COUNTY. CLICK ON THAT COUNTY.

Wellbeing: An Alternative View

The two maps below combine coal production data and AHDI data at the state level with GINI Coefficient values at the county-level, respectively. Rather than overlay our indicator variables with the coal production data, the maps represent both datasets in a single layer.

METADATA: Coal production data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (downloaded from Historical detailed coal production data (1983-2014) under "Production" tab on http://www.eia.gov/coal/data.cfm. All data used in these indices come from official U.S. government sources—the American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have downloaded the datasets from the Measure of America (http://www.measureofamerica.org/maps/).

Please send us feedback, using the Participatory Design page, about additional indicators for which you would like to see data. Indicators currently under consideration include:

  • social sustainability
  • social progress
  • youth well-being
  • sustainable development
  • resilience
  • social trust
  • happiness
  • cost of living
  • poverty rate
  • child poverty rate
  • rate of economic growth
  • business patterns (county-wide; zip code-wide)
  • charitable giving