Benton-Franklin Trends
Benton-Franklin Trends
Eastern Washington University
Benton-Franklin general banner image


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 website development team is a cooperative effort of two groups from Eastern Washington University (EWU): The Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis and the Center for Digital Media Design and Development. The Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis (Institute) is a multi-college program at EWU. The Institute, staff and students, gathered the statistical data, wrote the explanations & designed this site. They have created several other similar indicator websites for Spokane County, Grant County, Chelan and Douglas Counties, three counties in Northeast Washington, Kootenai County ID, and Fresno County, CA. The Institute's Director is Dr. Patrick Jones. Scott Richter is the Community Indicators Manager at the Institute. Brian Kennedy is the Institute's Data Analyst. Elizabeth Backstrom, Andrew Frazier, E.B. Vodde and Sam Wolkenhauer have been the Institute's student research interns on the development of the Trends in Benton and Franklin Counties.

The Center for Digital Media Design and Development (Center) is a collaborative extension of EWU's Departments of Computer Science and Engineering & Design. Development projects for campus and off-campus clients give students the opportunity to apply their skills in a real-world experience. The Center is directed by Dr. Linda Kieffer. Dr. James Braukmann previously directed the Center, and contributed to this and the other indicator projects. Sara Weinand has been the student designer. Kandyce Moore is the current programmer.