This page provides metadata for all Greater Portland Pulse indicators, including indicator descriptions, data sources, dates of the data, and data limitations.
Alternative Transportation: Percentage of commuters who carpool, walk, bike, or take transit to work.
Data Source: US Census, American Community Survey, Table B08006
Geographic Extent: Portland
Geographic Unit: city
Date of data download: January 10, 2017
High School Graduation: Four and five year cohort high school graduation rate.
Data Source: Oregon Department of Education
Geographic Extent: Portland
Geographic Unit: school district
Date of data download: February 24, 2016
Methodology: The Oregon Department of Education has set a target of 100 percent high school graduation in 2024-2025. To meet that goal, they have established graduation targets for the percentage of students to graduate each year. Targets are based on rates from previous years and vary across racial and ethnic groups.
Overweight & Obesity: Percentage of adults who report being overweight or obese.
Data Source: Centers for Disease Control
Geographic Extent: Multnomah County, Portland MSA, Oregon, United States
Geographic Unit: msa, county, state, nation
Date of data download: April 29, 2014
Methodology: The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a United States health survey that looks at behavioral risk factors. It is run by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and conducted by the individual state health departments. The survey is administered by telephone and is the world's largest such survey. The data is self-reported. In adults, obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. Adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25–29.9 are considered overweight. BMI is calculated from a person's weight and height and provides a reasonable indicator of weight categories that may lead to health problems. Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and type-2 diabetes (CDC, 2011). The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) relies on self-reported data.
Self-Sufficiency Standard: The amount of income necessary to meet basic needs without public subsidies and without private or informal assistance.
Data Source: Center for Women’s Welfare, School of Social Work, University of Washington; US Census, American Community Survey, Tables B19013, S19013
Geographic Extent: Multnomah County
Geographic Unit: county
Date of data download: April 23, 2015
Methodology: The federal poverty standard, developed in 1964, is often criticized as being an inadequate measure of financial stress. Dr. Diana Pearce of the University of Washington has developed a new measure, the Self-Sufficiency Standard. The Self-Sufficiency Standard offers a more complete and realistic picture of the amount of income required to make ends meet. The standard varies according to a number of variables that affect a household’s cost of living. These variables include the cost of housing, transportation, childcare, food, health care and taxes. The standard varies geographically, is calculated on a county-specific basis, and reflects different costs by age of children.
Unemployment Rate: The percentage of people in the labor force who are unemployed.
Data Source: US Census, American Community Survey, Table S2301
Geographic Extent: Portland, Multnomah County, Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro MSA, Oregon, United States
Geographic Unit: city, county, msa, state, nation
Date of data download: August 25, 2016
Methodology: The Current Population Survey (CPS), jointly sponsored by BLS and the Census Bureau, is a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households designed specifically to produce the current monthly employment and unemployment data and the annual data on income and poverty for the nation. CPS monthly employment and unemployment estimates are available within a few weeks of the end of the reference period—the calendar week including the 12th of the month. ACS annual employment and unemployment estimates are available about 9 months after the end of the reference year. The monthly CPS estimates are a key input to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program conducted by BLS, which produces the official labor force statistics for States and substate areas. Employment and unemployment estimates from the ACS and CPS can differ because the surveys use different questions, samples, and collection methods.