Economic Opportunity refers to the financial resources that individuals and families control, as well as the availability of circumstances to improve one’s economic position in a community.Families need sufficient economic resources to cover their basic needs including food and shelter, childcare, transportation, and health care expenses. Political and community leaders work to create economic opportunity by increasing the supply of good jobs and decreasing rates of poverty and financial insecurity. 

 

Key markers of Economic Opportunity include:

Percentage of the population living below the federal poverty line

Percentage of the population living below the federal poverty line

Represents the middle point of the distribution of household incomes within a given area

Represents the middle point of the distribution of household incomes within a given area

Percentage of residents in labor force who are unemployed

Percentage of residents in labor force who are unemployed

Measured by the Gini coefficient, where a score of 0 means that everyone has the same income (perfect income equality), while a score of 10 means that a single person has all the income (perfect income inequality)

Measured by the Gini coefficient, where a score of 0 means that everyone has the same income (perfect income equality), while a score of 10 means that a single person has all the income (perfect income inequality)

Two contradictory stories about Hawaii can be told by these measures. At the state level, our unemployment rate (10th lowest in the country), poverty rate (4th lowest), and median household income (4th highest) suggest that Hawaii’s economy is strong. Furthermore, measures of income diffusion/equality suggest that the benefits of the economy are shared broadly (Hawaii has the 7th most equitable income distribution among the states). On a regional level, however, observed disparities suggest significant local differences in economic opportunity and income inequality.

 

Use the interactive infographic below to explore these indicators of Economic Opportunity in more detail:


Indicators Dashboard

Our Indicators Dashboard can help you begin exploring specific measures of the 10 well-being domains. Interested in learning how each indicator varies over time and across Hawaii’s communities? Click below to head to our dashboard: 


Data Plotter Tool

What’s the relationship between various well-being indicators? And how might this relationship vary from island to island, or region to region? Click below to explore the answers to these and similar questions using our Data Plotter: