Puget Sound Regional Council

A Study of the Region’s Geography of Opportunity

“Opportunity” is a situation or condition that places individuals in a position to be more likely to succeed or excel. Opportunity maps illustrate where opportunity rich communities exist, assess who has access to those neighborhoods, and help to understand what needs to be remedied in opportunity poor neighborhoods. These thematic maps show U.S. Census Tracts (2010 geography) shaded by level of access to opportunity (“levels of opportunity”: very low, low, moderate, high, and very high) as defined by a series of 20 indicators that represent five major categories of opportunity: education, economic health, housing and neighborhood quality, transportation/mobility, and health and environment.

PSRC partnered with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in Ohio to develop the maps building off the Institute’s work on “Communities of Opportunity” across the country (see the King County Opportunity Maps from 2010). The partnership with Kirwan has enabled a very deep and thorough regional look at equity and opportunity that would not have been possible (but is required of PSRC’s Growing Transit Communities work).

The maps were developed by the Growing Transit Communities partnership and were discussed and created through a series of five focused meetings with stakeholders. For a summary of the comments and feedback received at each meeting, click here.

Puget Sound Regional Council • 1011 Western Ave, Suite 500 • Seattle, WA 98104 • 206-464-7090