The Puget Sound Indexer is a new, independent information service that describes the growth and change of the Seattle area in data and analysis.
We conceived the Indexer as a tool to focus on long term change in Seattle and the Puget Sound region, and still believe that is a valuable space to occupy. But in the near term, the focus is, understandably, on the corona virus and its implications. Accordingly, the Indexer will shift its focus to providing data and analysis germane to the corona virus. Long term, the Indexer will describe how the region has changed, how it has NOT changed, and what we need to focus on going forward.
The area needs independent, non-ideological sources of data and analysis, and we will provide the most reliable information we can find. We will not, however speculate or attempt to forecast specific outcomes, especially when it comes to the corona virus. Forecasting requires high quality data, and there is very little of that available on either the medical or economic front. This article from the Fivethirtyeight website describes the enormous challenges of forecasting, and this article describes the reliability problems with medical data.
Our basic focus areas are demographics, economics, social change, and environmental change. Given the enormous impact of the corona virus and the likely economic recession, we will also focus on how the region can respond to this disruption and continue on a track of widely shared, sustainable prosperity and high quality of life.
The materials we have prepared will be very helpful, since they provide a baseline of data about the region: where we start from. We cannot develop strategies for reviving our economy and society unless we have a pretty good idea what it is that we will be reviving. The Indexer has abundant information on what the region looks like and how it got to where it is. Good decision-making begins with a solid, data-driven understanding of the current situation and the long-term trends that have led to it. The Indexer provides that.
As we launch, we have four places to look across the top menu:
The Basics. Current and trend data that provide a basic picture of the region. This data is in tabular form and will be updated as new information becomes available. This is your quick stop to answer that nagging question.
Topics. Articles divided into four categories: demographic, social, economic, environmental. These articles provide easy-to-read data visualizations and interpretation across a wide range of subjects. This is the heart of the Indexer, and new articles will be added regularly.
30 Changes in 30 Years. A portrait of the changes that the Seattle region has undergone since 1990. This report can be downloaded as a separate PDF document. Many of the subjects in 30/30 are also covered in the Topics sections.
Notes on Data Sources. This is found under the About tab. It provides information on and links to the individual data sources used in the Indexer. All data sources have their strengths and weaknesses, and the Indexer is committed to total transparency about them. Learn more about where data comes from, and become a more informed and discriminating data consumer!
If you have questions, comments or corrections, or if you have suggestions for data we should highlight, we would love to hear from you. Use the “Contact Us” page, which will send your thoughts directly to the Editor in Chief.
We hope you find the Puget Sound Indexer useful.