Fall 2006

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How Does Your Garden Grow?: Employment Growth Among the States
By Morton J. Marcus

Household Income Varies by Region and Race
By Rachel M. Justis

Agritourism and Rural Economic Development
By Melissa Ramsey and Nathan A. Schaumleffel, Ph.D., CPRP

A Note from the Editor

The garden metaphor is an apt one for this issue. One might suggest that good data are part of the soil mix we need in order to grow our economy and gauge our quality of life. Indiana has been working toward better data to better inform its most important decisions, first with the 2004 study commissioned by the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, followed by the Lilly Endowment’s support of the State Data Initiative (now called Information for Indiana).

A coalition of universities and the Governor’s office have been moving forward on the recommendations of the 2004 study, and this initiative continues to receive support from a broad spectrum of data users. Our state’s most important agencies are now aware of key data issues; more (and sometimes better) data have begun to flow more forcefully from these agencies; and we can now point to many significant successes in the availability and utility of data. Property tax files, local certified budgets, income and retail sales tax data, child care data—all are now available as time series in forms more useful for general policy analysis.

STATS Indiana will be the essential portal to reach these new data, transformed into meaningful maps, graphs, and other representations that will speed the process from question to answer. A focus on metrics, usability, and dashboard-style indicators will help Hoosiers better understand our benchmarks and our progress. Through continuous improvements in content and usability, STATS Indiana will bring Information for Indiana to life.
—Carol O. Rogers