Using the Site

This section is provided to help you make the most of Impact Essex, launched by the Essex County Community Foundation.

A Guide to the Impact Essex Indicators Website

A Glossary of Terms

A Guide to Impact Essex Indicators Website

Impact Essex is rich with information, with indicators provided in both text and graphic format. Detailed information, trends, and maps are also available. Some users will want quick reference information, while others will want more detail. Spending a few minutes reviewing this section may aid your work and help make using the Impact Essex website a more satisfying experience.

Organization of the Site

Information on this site can be accessed from the topic tabs that extend across the entire page just below the main image. To view a list of all of the indicators tracked, click the View All Indicators. Helpful links are listed above the search bar on the right-hand side of the website and contain overview information relating to Impact Essex, including:

About Us Information on the goals of Impact Essex and the organizations that participated in developing it
Using the Site Current section
Resources Information about and links to other valuable sources of data
FAQs Frequently asked questions about the site and its content

Additionally, the Contact Us button links to information on how to get in touch with the Community Indicators initiative.

The site is organized by topicssubtopics, and indicators. Seven categories or topics were selected for Impact Essex. These topics are shown beneath the main image as tabs arranged alphabetically across the page. By clicking on any of these tabs, you will be taken to the main page for that topic. This main page is the launching pad for your review and research.

On each topic page you will find a brief description of the topic. Below that is an indicator dashboard, providing quick access to information that is featured on important issues impacting our community, and a summary of key trends. Along the left side of the page is the following:

Topic Indicators Displays a list of subtopics and gives the option to View All.


These are categories of data under each topic. Clicking on a subtopic provides a list of relevant indicators.


These are individual sets of data on a specific aspect of our communities. Indicators are used to measure strengths and weaknesses based on data collected over time.

View All

By clicking on this option, a full list of indicators can be viewed for the topic instead of separated by subtopic.
Related Content Displays a list of related content and resources.


Impact Essex provides these links as a convenience, but does not necessarily endorse the organizations involved or their programs, nor can it affirm the accuracy of information in linked sites.

Related Indicators

Some indicators may relate to this topic, though they are listed elsewhere on the site. You can find these indicators here.
Navigating the Site

Here are several additional tips for navigating the Impact Essex website:

To return to the home page... From any page on the site, you can return to the home page by clicking on the Impact Essex logo in the upper left corner of the page.
To get to a topic page... From any page on the site, you can navigate to a topic page by clicking on the blue tab with the name of the topic.
To customize charts... After clicking on the charts in the detailed indicator pages, you can customize your own chart with the data available by clicking on or off the items in the legend. To view the underlying data, hover over the chart. You may also print or save these charts using the buttons in the upper right corner of the chart.
To download data... After clicking on the detailed indicator pages, click on the Data Tables tab. Click on Jump to Data Table to go directly to a specific table. Scroll to the bottom of a table to see the Download Data Table button. This will open an Excel spreadsheet.


A Glossary of Terms:

Indicator An indicator is a measure that helps to describe an economic, environmental, social, or cultural condition over time. An indicator is usually expressed as a rate or percent, such as the poverty rate, the unemployment rate, or the volunteering rate. Impact Essex provides information and analysis on more than 70 indicators throughout this website. For each of the seven indicator categories, the individual indicators are accessed from the main page, or topic page. A list of every indicator is available by clicking on “View All Indicators” on the right side of the page.
Inflation Adjusted This refers to an actual value that is adjusted to account for inflation. The changes in a series of actual values over time reflect several factors, including inflation. If the series is inflation adjusted, however, the changes reflect only the other factors. For example, median household income in our state (Financial Self-Sufficiency) is adjusted to the most recent year in the series.
Median The median refers to the mid-point of a set of values. For example, median household income in our state (Financial Self-Sufficiency) is $60,000. This means that an equal number of households earn more than $60,000 as earn less.
Percent The portion of the whole represented by any given value. The whole is 100 percent, and the percent of any given value is its relationship to 100 percent. Mathematically, the percent is derived by dividing the given value by the value of the whole, and then by multiplying the result by 100 to express the result as a percent.
Per capita Per person (literally, "per head"). This measure is particularly useful in comparing activity among units of differing sizes. An example is comparing water use per capita in Essex to other locations.
Poverty Level The United States government uses two principal methods to measure poverty: the poverty thresholds established by the Census Bureau and the poverty guidelines used by the Department of Health and Human Services. The Census Bureau approach is used to determine how many people live in poverty, and the Health and Human Services data is used for various benefit programs, such as eligibility for food stamps. In some applications, eligibility for federal assistance programs is based on multiples of the poverty guidelines (such as 125% or 165% of the poverty level). The difference in these measures is not significant.
Rate The relationship between two values. For example, when driving, the rate of speed is measured by the distance traveled (miles) in a certain amount of time (hours). Hence, the rate of speed is expressed as miles per hour. Rates can be expressed in a variety of ways. Impact Essex strives to use rates that are understandable. An example is the mortality rate per 10,000 residents (Health).