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Why Benton-Franklin Trends?

The Trends of Benton and Franklin Counties, in south central Washington; are presented by a coalition of interested parties. The steering committee included the following organizations: Benton Franklin Health District, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Port of Benton, the Three Rivers Community Foundation, and the Tri-City Herald. The information contained among these many indicators offers residents and visitors alike a comprehensive view of our community.

Our specific goals are to:

  • Inform, based on the best-available data
  • Measure progress
  • Focus community attention on key issues
  • Ultimately, inspire broadly shared action

Our process has been deliberative and inclusive. To arrive at the current set of indicators, we engaged focus groups around eight of the ten categories on the site. This involved nearly 150 community leaders and subject experts. Their votes determined the choices of indicators you see in each category.

A set of principles informed the votes. We asked our fellow residents to consider that their choices of indicators be based on the following criteria:

  • Important to large numbers of the community
  • Based on valid measurements, as defined by good science and social science
  • Understandable to the general public
  • Defined to allow comparisons to Washington State trends or to those in similar sized communities
  • Available repeatedly over time to allow trend analysis
  • Easily accessible
  • Sourced from credible sites, largely federal, state & local governments

Over time, the mix of indicators will undoubtedly change. For now, these represent the best approximation of the most important views of life in the two counties. Most are annual, so the insights offered by the future path of these trends will take time.

Our Community Partners in creating and underwriting Trends of Benton & Franklin Counties are:

  • City of Richland
  • Columbia Basin College
  • Pasco Chamber of Commerce
  • Visit Tri-Cities

As you explore this site, the Development Team encourages your feedback to help continue to improve this community resource. To receive a quarterly e-newsletter with updates about select indicators and stories of success, subscribe here.

The role of Eastern Washington University

Website development and maintenance comes from Eastern Washington University's (EWU) Institute (Institute) for Public Policy and Economic Analysis. The Institute is a multi-college unit conducting applied analysis at EWU. Institute, staff and students, gathered the data, wrote the explanations, conducted statistical tests & designed this site. The Institute has created several similar indicator websites, including those for Grant County, Chelan and Douglas Counties, three counties in Northeast Washington, Benton and Franklin Counties, Skagit County, Yakima County, and Kootenai County, ID.

The Institute's Director is Dr. Patrick Jones. Scott Richter is the Community Indicators manager while Brian Kennedy is the Institute's data analyst. Many students have helped develop and maintain both data and verbal content. Student research interns who were instrumental in creating this project were: Bryan Lockwald, Holly Miller and Emily Wavra. Chris Thompson was the student design intern for this project. Kandyce Moore is the Institute's computer programmer.