Power in Numbers: Nebraska Children and Partners Roll Out the Latest Iteration of the Data-Rich Nebraska Community Opportunity Map

What tool reveals Nebraska’s well-being indicators? Whether you’re a policymaker, social worker, or journalist, the latest iteration of the Nebraska Community Opportunity Map puts relevant, timely data at your fingertips.  

We are glad to have played a part in this initiative, having served as The Nebraska Community Opportunity Map’s facilitator. As with any major project, the map was a group effort among data experts from many statewide agencies and organizations.  

Catherine Brown, Associate Vice President of Research and Evaluation at Nebraska Children, said, “Nebraska’s Community Opportunity Map has been a great example of state and national partners coming together to increase access to timely, relevant, high-quality data.”  

You can find high-quality, interactive data right at your fingertips.
You can find high-quality, interactive data right at your fingertips.

Catherine said that of the stakeholders are committed to increasing the site’s amount of data and functionality to make it a valuable tool.  

“We encourage everyone to use and share it,” said Catherine.  

Originally launched in 2018, the updated version of the map features new capabilities, 2016-2019 data, and an enhanced appearance.    

The map’s new attributes include:  

  • You can search data according to Nebraska State Legislative Districts 
  • You can display and download 2016-2019 data (for most points) to interpret trends over time 
  • You can access a more detailed interface with a new data panel and demographic details 

Most of all, the Nebraska Community Opportunity Map provides user-friendly, centralized data that’s essential to your work. When you use this free, interactive resource, you’ll enjoy enhanced access to our communities’ data that’s integral to children and family well-being.  

Having relevant, timely data allows you to make educated decisions on behalf of Nebraska's families.
Having relevant, timely data allows you to make educated decisions on behalf of Nebraska’s families.

Ultimately, with the help of this hands-on resource, you’ll be able to make data-driven decisions about how to allocate resources, implement services, plan for emergencies, and strategize for other essential purposes.  

The Nebraska Community Opportunity Map leverages and supplements the national Community Opportunity Map (COM), developed by Community Attributes Inc. and customized for Casey Family Programs, the nation’s largest organization that focuses on reducing foster care. Nebraska expanded its data set beyond data from the U.S. Census Bureau. It added additional functionalities, such as the ability to view multiple years of data and for Nebraska-specific administrative regions, geographic regions, and county-level well-being and community health indicators. 

You can search the Nebraska Community Opportunity Map by these geographic regions: 

  • Nebraska County (can search by more than one county at once) 
  • DHHS Behavioral Health Regions 
  • DHHS Children and Family Service Areas 
  • District Court 
  • County Court 
  • State Legislative Districts 
  • Custom areas to look at specific neighborhoods 

You can find these county-level well-being indicators on the site: 

  • Work Hours/Week to Rent a 2-Bedroom Home 
  • Children in Single Parent Households 
  • High School Graduation Rate 
  • Proficient in English Language Arts (3rd grade) 
  • Juvenile Arrests 
  • Children Below Poverty Level 
  • Children in Out of Home Care 
  • Child Abuse/Neglect Substantiated Reports 
  • Teen Births 
  • Infant Deaths 

You can also search these healthy community indicators/demographics (from U.S. Census Bureau data) 

  • Vacant Housing 
  • Housing Cost Burden 
  • Resident Turnover 
  • Single Mother Families 
  • Child to Adult Ratio 
  • People 65 and Over 
  • Unemployment Rate 
  • Adults with High School Diploma/GED

This project is the successful collaborative effort of Boys Town, Nebraska Foster Care Review Office, Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, Nebraska Court Improvement Project, Nebraska Department of Education, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Schmeeckle Research (Consultant/Facilitator), University of Nebraska, Center for Public Affairs Research, and Voices for Children in Nebraska.  

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Nebraska Children and Families Foundation supports children, young adults and families at risk with the overall goal of giving our state's most vulnerable kids what they need to reach their full potential. We do this by building strong communities that support families so their children can grow up to be thriving, productive adults.

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