Economic Well-being: Is Southern Arizona Keeping Up?

Jennifer Pullen, senior research economist in the Economic and Business Research Center at the Eller College of Management, discussed what data tell us about economic well-being in southern Arizona in a recent Arizona Public Media interview with Lorraine Rivera. Pullen is also program coordinator for the Making Action Possible (MAP) Dashboard project at Eller.

Pullen points out that Tucson excels in some key areas: “Tucson has a high level of patent activity. This is a measure of entrepreneurship in the region.” She also highlighted the fact that Tucson does better than peer communities across Western states in terms of the percentage of its population holding degrees in STEM areas. But Tucson's economy was hit harder than most by the great recession and continues to struggle in comparison to peer metros and the nation on some important measures like job growth and growth in the number of businesses.

Do you want to dig into the data? The MAP Dashboard website tracks 36 core socioeconomic indicators describing southern Arizona across six categories: economy, education, health and social well-being, infrastructure, quality of place and workforce and demographics. For each indicator on the MAP you can compare Tucson to peer metros across Western states and to the nation. All data are publicly sourced, with about one-third coming from the U.S. Census Bureau.