Press Releases

A Look at OC's Economic and Social Health

County Executive Office - Press Release


February 15, 2000
Contact: Michael Ruane
(714) 834-2307

Community Indicators Report Released A Look at OC's Economic and Social Health

(Santa Ana) -The County of Orange, Office of Strategic Affairs today released the first Orange County Community Indicators Report. The document, which is expected to become an annual report, is an assessment of the economic and social well-being of the county.

"This report will evolve as we become more practiced at finding the indicators that best reflect the health of Orange County," said Michael M. Ruane, assistant County Executive Officer and project director for the initial report. "Our next step is to work with the business community, non-profit organizations, Orange County cities and other community leaders to create future reports through ongoing collaboration, developing goals and tracking our progress."

The report measures factors which contribute to sustaining community vitality and a healthy economy with 42 indicators grouped into seven categories:

  • Economic and Business Climate
  • Technology
  • Education
  • Health and Human Services
  • Public Safety
  • Environment
  • Civic Engagement
The indicators are objective measurements that reveal whether key community attributes, such as housing affordability, technological innovations, fourth grade math and reading scores, health insurance coverage, criminal activity, and beach closures, are increasing, decreasing or staying the same.

"Orange County's United Way is very excited about the Indicator Report and its usefulness," said Maria Chavez Wilcox, President of Orange County's United Way. "When we have the best data available, we can better gauge the impact our dollars are having in improving people's lives. As the largest private funder of health and human services in the county, our participation in efforts like this is extremely important as we identify the county's greatest needs for funding allocations."

Chuck V. Smith, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, highlighted the report in his recent state of the county address. "This report is intended to build on and unite other indicator efforts in the county so that we may jointly take this effort to the next level," he said. "The County and its partners are launching what will hopefully broaden into an ongoing, and innovative process of community self-evaluation."

The Community Indicators Report was compiled by a collaborative team spearheaded by the County of Orange. The specific indicators were selected to reflect countywide interests and impacts. One of the criteria for selection of indicators was access to data that is reliable and available over the long term, so that trends can be identified. The report can be found online at under "Innovative Government." To obtain additional copies of the report, or to provide feedback, call the CIP hotline at 714/834-7257 or e-mail questions or comments to