The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

CPPP Releases New Data Tool Measuring Local Economic Mobility

AUSTIN, TEXAS—The Texas Regional Opportunity Index (TROI), a new interactive data tool released today by the Center for Public Policy Priorities, offers the first and only one-stop-shop for data measuring the economic health of all Texas counties and regions. Pulling together 65 indicators on economic development, health, nutrition, education, and savings, the TROI offers the most comprehensive look at Texans’ ability to build financial security, avoid or lift themselves out of poverty, get a quality education, and create a prosperous future for their families.

The TROI is easy to use and helps communities and policymakers understand their strengths and challenges while also setting goals and benchmarks against other Texas regions.

“We know that in order to succeed, Texas families need well-paying jobs with benefits, access to basic needs, and the opportunity to save and build financial assets,” said Don Baylor, senior economic opportunity policy analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities.  “The Texas Regional Opportunity Index helps communities and policymakers understand how their residents are faring and what they can do to improve opportunity for families.”

Inspired by the national Opportunity Index  and CFED Asset and Opportunity Scorecard, the TROI consolidates data from 25 sources and provides an easy, accessible way to compare Texas counties and regions. The tool also includes 16 indicators never before released at the county or regional level, including credit card debt, payday and auto title lending density, long-term unemployment rates, and student debt burden.

“To ensure prosperity for all Texans, communities know they need to invest in public and postsecondary education and financial aid, access to health insurance and nutrition programs, and financial literacy and asset building. This tool offers a dashboard to local governments and organizations to guide and enhance community approaches to achieve local impact, while also providing a roadmap for public policy solutions to increase economic opportunity and mobility across Texas,” Baylor said.

The TROI is now available online after being formally released this morning in Houston at an event generously sponsored by CHASE.

“CHASE is proud to support the launch of the Texas Regional Opportunity Index,” said Carolyn Watson, vice president for global philanthropy at the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. “This new tool equips decision makers with the data they need to effectively respond and plan in an increasingly measured world.”

Visit www.forabettertexas.org/troi to access the tool.