Community Snapshot: A Report on the Economic and Social Well-Being of the National Capital Area

We commissioned George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis to conduct a study that assesses the social well-being of counties within the footprint of United Way of the National Capital Area. The Community Snapshot illustrates the challenges facing our region and identifies the wide geographic and racial disparities in terms of access to economic opportunity, high quality schools and health and wellness services.

The main issues identified include:

  • There continue to be wide geographic and racial disparities in terms of income, poverty and access to economic opportunity.
  • Student performance on academic assessments declines between middle school and high school.
  • Graduation rates are low for African American and Hispanic students.
  • A substantial number of people—particularly young males—have no attachment to either school or the labor force.
  • The aging of the workforce is expected to lead to a shortage of workers in key sectors.
  • Migration to the region is slowing as the national economy improves.
  • The region is in a period of slower economic growth and transition as a result of decreased Federal spending.

Moving forward, we will use this data to drive decision-making around our investment of resources and energy.

“We see this as a baseline study, and we plan to update it every two years to identify new trends that may be emerging, to guide our work and focus our resources so we can make the biggest impact on the most pressing areas, and to map where progress is being made,” says Bill Hanbury, president & CEO of United Way NCA.

Do More 24 is just one of the many ways that United Way of the National Capital Area seeks to bring nonprofit organizations together to create a collective impact and solve some of these issues that have been identified in the Community Snapshot.

Read: the Community Snapshot (pdf)

Watch: This Do More 24 video highlights findings from the study.

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