What is the Economic Development Capacity Index?
The Economic Development Capacity Index (EDCI), developed through a partnership between the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne), uses publicly available data to assess critical elements that contribute to a county’s overall economic development capacity. Economic development capacity is comprised of the knowledge, skills, assets, and resources that foster prosperity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and high quality of life in a community.
What does the EDCI Measure?
The EDCI brings together 53 indicators across five major capacity areas:
- Human Capital
- Industry Composition
- Institutions and Partnerships
Specifically, the EDCI provides county-level quantitative and qualitative scores by capacity area, as well as the national percentile for each individual indicator. Argonne and EDA identified each of these capacity areas and the associated indicators through engagement with economic development subject matter experts, a review of economic development literature, and an evaluation of publicly available data.
Why is the EDCI Important?
The EDCI enables economic developers to conduct in-depth, data-driven analysis of economic development capacity within their county. This information can be used to support or inform planning, project identification, or applications for assistance. Because the EDCI will be updated on an annual basis, it will also enable communities and other economic development stakeholders to evaluate how capacity changes as a result of economic development investments and initiatives.
How can the EDCI be used?
The EDCI is intended to provide economic development stakeholders an accessible breakdown and evaluation of the constituent components of economic development. Stakeholders can view overall capacity quantitative and qualitative scores for each capacity area. In addition, they can view results for individual indicators to better understand relative strengths and challenges within a given capacity area. Data have been relativized to a national scale to facilitate comparisons and analyses at a variety of spatial scales. Stakeholders can explore the data using the interactive EDCI web mapping application.
This tool was prepared by Argonne National Laboratory using Federal funds under Interagency Agreement Number 20230656502028346030 from the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.