The CDC creates variables that demonstrate at the tract level how vulnerable a community is based on a large number of Census variables. You can read more about the project here: https://svi.cdc.gov/data-and-tools-download.html
For those of you that are interested, I pulled this data for the years: 2000, 2010, and 2014. I then create change measures. My descriptions and the Rmarkdown file can be found at my Github page: https://github.com/EricStokan/SVI
I am doing this work in line with a project through the Metropolitan Governance and Management Lab (MGMT) at the Indiana University Bloomington with Deslatte and Helmke-Long: https://mgmt.lab.indiana.edu/people/index.html.
In a recent article in the Urban Affairs Review with Aaron Deslatte and Megan E. Hatch, we find that local governments can overcome the "lock in" effects from previous economic development decisions. It takes concerted commitment across different levels of government to ensure greater equity within communities. Finding mechanisms to mitigate economic development competition between neighboring governments could ensure a more equitable growth path, as can greater own-source resources. The last level, own-source resources, will be tough as local and state governments grapple with the economic implications of COVID-19. Thus finding additional solutions to overcome these hurdles will take work.
Co-authors, Darrin Wilson, Brad Johnson, Michael Overton and I, in a recent Public Administration Review article, suggest that the Institutional Collective Action framework is one path forward whereby local governments need to find innovative solutions that foster greater coordination and cooperation. Dividing the innovative approaches underway into those that are supply- and demand-side, we suggest what is happening and how governments can leverage these relationships to ensure economic recovery.
Aaron Deslatte, Megan E. Hatch, and I, in a recent Public Administration Review article, also suggest that achieving greater equity and sustainability as a result of COVID-19 is a possibility and they should use current grant structures already in place to do so such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG).
I am an assistant professor of political science at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). I completed my Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University.