Last year the American Human Development Project of the Social Science Research Council published its first report on the state of human development in America. Cleverly titled The Measure of America, the report applies methods that the United Nations has used for 20 years to produce its annual UN Human Development Index to the American context specifically.

Amazingly, Measuring of America is the first report to use this method to assess human development within a wealthy, developed nation.

I’m doing a bit of analysis on specific elements of the report for my part-time job. So far, its been absolutely fascinating to dig deeper into the actual reality everyday Americans find themselves in. As I make my way through it, I’ll share some of the interesting factoids that it highlights.

The report is based on an extensive methodology that basically boils down to looking at people’s level of health, education, and income. In addition to presenting national averages, it compares America’s outcomes to 30 of the world’s richest countries, and looks specifically at outcomes by state, Congressional district, ethnicity, and gender.

A wonderful website has been developed in conjunction with the report that has loads of interactive tools to visualize how specific communities and groups compare to one another. If you’re looking for a few minutes to kill online while sitting at home or at your desk, I highly recommend it!

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