Estimating Disadvantaged Populations Based on Publicly Available Data

Project No: 124695

Target Completion Date: May 31, 2025 Environment, Planning, and Economics

About the project:

Understanding and addressing transportation equity is critical for the equitable development of communities, particularly for disadvantaged populations. These groups, defined by experiences of racial, ethnic, or cultural bias, encounter substantial mobility challenges due to financial limitations, disabilities, and inadequate access to dependable transportation services. The Justice40 Initiative, introduced under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), mandates that a minimum of 40% of federal funding is directed towards such underprivileged communities. This reflects the critical need for precise identification and assistance for these populations in transportation planning.

The immediate goal of this project is to provide TMPD with an estimation tool for SMART SCALE that will include the percent of households that are disadvantaged as defined by meeting one or more of the criteria.: (1) limited English proficiency (LEP); (2) racial minority; and (3) below poverty level.  This tool will also provide a reliable estimation of disadvantaged populations in line with the Justice40 Initiative's goals and to enhance transportation infrastructure planning in Virginia. The project will include reviewing literature and leveraging public and specially requested census data for a detailed socioeconomic and demographic analysis at the census tract level. The American Community Survey (ACS) will be used for estimating the disadvantaged population based on low-income, racial minority, and LEP criteria in Virginia. ArcGIS will be employed to conduct geographic analysis and develop map-based statistics that provide a visual and quantitative understanding of community disadvantage. This research is aimed at providing new data for prioritizing projects and directing investment to where it is most needed, thereby strengthening the commitment to transportation equity in Virginia.

Project Team

Co-Principal Investigators

Other Investigators

  • Yiqing Xu

Last updated: April 2, 2024

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