Labor Force Demographics
The American Community Survey (ACS) is a mandatory, ongoing statistical survey that samples a small percentage of the population every year — giving communities the information they need to plan investments and services. The ACS is division of the US Census Bureau. Table 1 below provides a small sample of types of reports that can be created utilizing the ACS website.
Table 1-Sample American Community Survey Reports
QuickFacts provides statistics for all states and counties, and for cities and towns with more than 5,000 people
Table 2-Sample QuickFacts Information (data merged by REB staff)
The Massachusetts Economic Independence Index (Mass. Index) reports what it takes for a family to make ends meet in Massachusetts without relying on public or private assistance. The Mass. Index measures costs at the state and county levels and for the city of Boston, capturing local markets and prices for basics including housing, child care, healthcare, food, transportation, personal and essential household items, and taxes. Mass. Index budgets are specific to family composition, presenting values for 420 family types. On average in Massachusetts, a single-parent family with one preschooler and one school-age child needs an income of $65,880 a year to meet its day-to-day essential expenses without public assistance.
(Comments and Mass Index Report provided by the Crittenton Women’s Union)
The graphic below was extracted from the Mass Economic Index report and demonstrates the cost proportions for caring for children of different age categories.
As illustrated in Figure 1, for families with young children, the cost of child care is significant and makes up the largest portion of their budget. In fact, in Massachusetts,
the cost of infant and toddler care is more expensive than in any other state
(Child Care Aware 2012).
Economic Independence Calculator
What are the real costs of living in Massachusetts in 2013? Based on research conducted for the Massachusetts Economic Independence Index 2013 report, this invaluable interactive tool will allow you to easily determine how much it costs for a specific family-type to live in any community in Massachusetts. By selecting your city or town, and number and ages of children in your care, you will learn the real costs for housing, child care, health care, food, and transportation.