What's Got MDC Buzzing?
As MDC continues work with three community colleges on scaling financial education programs, we’re excited to share this news about an innovative model called Financial Opportunity Centers, developed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation or LISC. These centers provide job training, financial coaching, and access to public benefits for low-income clients – an approach MDC knows well through development and deployment of The Benefit Bank® in North Carolina.
Looking nationally this week, we’ve found several interesting maps to share. This one, from the Daily Yonder, gives a quick visual of the median family income in all of the rural or exurban counties in the country. Only the darkest blue counties have a median income above the national median of $50,502 – the rest are lower, with the dark red representing the counties with less than $35,000 as median family income.
Another map that caught our eye this week is this one-sheeter, which offers a quick visual of where in the U.S. income disparity is greatest. For you data geeks, this comes from a pretty cool international indicator called the Gini coefficient, which allows economists to put countries on a scale that ranges from 0 (everyone has the same income) to 100 (one person in the country has all of the income). This graphic applied the same model to U.S. states. Thanks to Resource Generation for putting this together!
Our favorite map of late is Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks – an interactive mapping tool that shows income from every neighborhood in the country, using 2007-2011 data from the American Community Survey. There’s even an option for color blind folks who have trouble discerning the green and red sections of the map! Our last (and least serious) mapping offering is this Seven Deadly Sins map, developed by geographers from the University of Kansas. If you’ve ever wondered how ‘saintly’ your state is in terms of greed, wrath, or sloth – look no further.`
Rounding out this post for this week is Durham, N.C.’s own New York Times shout-out! We were thrilled that this article was trending towards the top of the New York Times ‘most emailed’ list, even though it could mean longer lines at the food trucks we track with Carpe Durham.