Publications

Nov 02, 2011
The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute worked with Council for Children's Rights and the Larry King Center for Building Children's Futures to design and administer a survey and conduct focus groups. This research  identified needs in the community and  ways in which...
Nov 02, 2011
Working with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Urban Institute, the Urban League of Central Carolinas is assessing the conditions and experiences of all people in an eight-county Charlotte region through a project called the State of Ethnic Charlotte. The project measures ethnic progress and disparities, both quantitatively and qualitatively, across four Equality Index areas: economics, education, health, and social justice.
Nov 02, 2011
This report was compiled by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute in April 2010 in collaboration with Council for Children's Rights in honor of  the National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  The study examines a number of indicators related to child abuse in Mecklenburg County over...
Nov 02, 2011
The regular announcements of unemployment numbers tend to focus on short-term changes and specific locations. It can be challenging to make sense of trends in unemployment over longer periods or between geographical regions. How is the Charlotte region holding up in this important measure? The answer: not well. The June release of N.C. Employment Security Commission (NCESC) data shows widespread increases in unemployment across the state.
Nov 02, 2011
All parents ask themselves “Is my child prepared?” as they think about the first day of kindergarten.  Some begin pondering this question even before their child enters a pre-k program.  Preparing children for school begins well before they step inside the classroom.  Developmental...
Nov 02, 2011
The recession may be officially over, but the financial and social wounds it inflicted continue. As new data released by the Census Bureau this week show, Mecklenburg County is no exception. In 2005, Mecklenburg County's poverty rate was 2 percentage points below the national average and nearly 4 points below the state's. But by 2010, the county's poverty rate was dead even with the national rate.
Nov 02, 2011
This white paper was composed by researchers at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute for Urban League of Central Carolinas as part of their project, The State of Ethnic Charlotte.  The State of Ethnic Charlotte, 2011 is the first project of the Joe Martin Institute for Inclusive Policy at the...
Nov 02, 2011
In June 2010, United Way of Central Carolinas commissioned the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute to conduct a comprehensive community needs assessment for its five-county service area.  The primary purpose of the study was to pinpoint the community’s greatest needs and identify gaps in the current...
Oct 11, 2011
While recent recognition lauds the efforts of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to address disparities among schools, the reality of the work still to be done is clearly visible in newly released maps of various school measurements. The maps, developed in a partnership between the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and MeckEd, let users explore graduation rates, student proficiency, per-pupil expenditures, teacher turnover rates, attendance and student-teacher ratios.
Oct 04, 2011
A Comparison of Findings and Recommendations of Two Reports: “Preparing Our Youth for Work: A Community Assessment”, August 2010 UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and “Workforce Development Sector Analysis: Focusing on Workforce Development for Adults with Barriers to Employment in Charlotte...
Sep 29, 2011
Local business leaders’ expectations for the upcoming quarter have dipped into negative territory for the first time since March, when a new opinion survey began.  Not only is their outlook negative for the national economy – as it was after the second quarter – but they’re feeling grimmer about the local economy as well.
Sep 29, 2011
The recession may be officially over, but the financial and social wounds it inflicted continue. As new data released by the Census Bureau this week show, Mecklenburg County is no exception. In 2005, Mecklenburg County's poverty rate was 2 percentage points below the national average and nearly 4 points below the state's. But by 2010, the county's poverty rate was dead even with the national rate.
Aug 30, 2011
When America’s foremost collage artist, Romare Bearden, was born 100 years ago in Charlotte on Sept. 2, 1911, the city was in the midst of a heartbreaking transition, a hardening of racial segregation that was taking place throughout the South.  A new online exhibit from Levine...
Aug 03, 2011
The regular announcements of unemployment numbers tend to focus on short-term changes and specific locations.  It can be challenging to make sense of trends in unemployment over longer periods or between geographical regions.  How is the Charlotte region holding up in this important...
Jul 19, 2011
In 2010, a UNC Charlotte research team led by Dr. Elizabeth Racine conducted a Mecklenburg County Community Food Assessment for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Food Policy Council.  The results of Phase 1 of that study (posted on this website in September 2010) looked at the presence or absence of...
Jul 19, 2011
Local perceptions may not have caught up with the new reality in the Charlotte region’s manufacturing economy. Even before the recession began in 2007, declines in the textile and furniture industries were changing the structure of local employment.
Jul 05, 2011
The third quarter Charlotte Business Confidence Index report, released July 1, shows Mecklenburg County business leaders slightly optimistic about economic prospects in the third quarter.
Jun 30, 2011
The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute opens a new chapter today in fulfilling its forty-year mission of serving the Charlotte region with the launch of its new on-line Charlotte Regional Indicators website.  The Institute established the Charlotte Regional Indicators Project in 2007 to...
Jun 23, 2011
Just over a year ago, the United Way of Central Carolinas (UWCC) partnered with the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute to conduct a region-wide community needs assessment.  The Executive Summary of the report for this study was released online and at community meetings several weeks ago, and now...
Jun 23, 2011
In June 2010, United Way of Central Carolinas commissioned the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute to conduct a comprehensive community needs assessment for its five-county service area.  The primary purpose of the study was to pinpoint the community’s greatest needs and identify gaps in the current...
Jun 16, 2011
The Larry King Center (LKC) of the Council for Children’s Rights recently released a plan for improving school readiness for the children in Mecklenburg County. “Unlocking the Potential of a Community: The Plan for School Readiness” is based on data, research, and input from six action teams comprised of community leaders, agency directors, and parents of young children.
Jun 09, 2011
In June, 2010, The United Way of Central Carolinas (UWCC) teamed up with the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute to create a regional community needs assessment.  Just completed, the needs assessment is part of a broader effort to redefine the organization to be more in concert with the...
Jun 08, 2011
In June 2010, United Way of Central Carolinas commissioned the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute to conduct a comprehensive community needs assessment for its five-county service area.  The primary purpose of the study was to pinpoint the community’s greatest needs and identify gaps in the current...
Jun 02, 2011
In 1960, the median age for the United States was 29.5 years, meaning that half the population was older than that, and half was younger.  In the 2010 Census, the median age for the country moved up to 37.2 years, reflecting what many demographers refer to as the “graying of America”.  As...
May 26, 2011
An examination of the Census 2010 data released so far provides several insights into how North Carolina’s growth compared to other states.  North Carolina was the 6th fastest-growing state in the 2000s at 18.5%, putting it just between Texas and Georgia, and virtually tied with Georgia in...
May 26, 2011
  A summary presentation of population trends related to North Carolina.  Based on Census 2010 preliminary (redistricting) data released in the spring of 2011. To see a PDF of the presentation:     Download PDF Read the related article on this site.
May 19, 2011
The recently released South Carolina data from US Census 2010 now allow for a more complete picture of growth in the Charlotte Region in the last decade. The South Carolina counties of Chester, Lancaster and York form the southern flank of the 14-county Charlotte Region. The census data show York County was the second-fastest growing of all South Carolina’s counties since 2000 with a population increase of over 37%.
May 05, 2011
As the 2010 Census of Population results have been rolling out, demographer, Dr. William Frey at the Brookings Institution, has been analyzing the new numbers and providing informative and sometimes surprising interpretations of America’s population changes during the 21st century.
Apr 20, 2011
“Which is more likely to kill more Americans in the US in the next year, a nuclear meltdown similar to Chernobyl  or a hurricane similar to Katrina?” (Please write down your answer, and then read on…) Catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, or the earthquake,...
Apr 15, 2011
In 2005 and 2006 researchers from the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute partnered with the Latin American Coalition, our region’s largest Latino outreach and advocacy organization, to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment of Mecklenburg County’s rapidly growing and transitioning Latino population.
Apr 08, 2011
In 2010, a UNC Charlotte research team led by Dr. Elizabeth Racine conducted a Mecklenburg County Community Food Assessment for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Food Policy Council. The results of Phase 1 of that study (posted on this website in September 2010) looked at the presence or absence of food stores in Mecklenburg’s Census Block Groups and the relationship of that availability to various health indicators.
Mar 31, 2011
The inaugural BusinessFirst Charlotte Confidence Index report was released March 31, and with an overall index value of 62.3, Mecklenburg County business leaders are generally confident about economic prospects in the second quarter (index values above 50 indicate positive expectations, and values below 50 indicate negative expectations).
Mar 24, 2011
The Future of the Library Task Force presented its final recommendations to the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners and the Board of Trustees of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library during a special meeting on March 21, 2011 in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.  The...
Mar 24, 2011
The Future of the Library Task Force was formed in 2010 to make recommendations to the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners and the Board of Trustees of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library concerning long-term funding strategies for the library system.  The final report was presented on...
Mar 17, 2011
Controversies over school closures in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County over the past year have refocused public attention on issues of race in our community. While the explosive growth of the Hispanic population has been a more recent demographic trend, the issue of residential segregation among blacks and whites has a much longer history in this community, with significant public policy implications.
Mar 11, 2011
On Wednesday, March 2nd, the first set of data from the 2010 Census was released for North Carolina counties, cities, towns, etc., providing the first hard population counts for these areas since 2000.   We know that the Charlotte region as a whole has grown rapidly in the last decade,...
Mar 03, 2011
What should Charlotte look like?  When discussing urban design many planners, architects and developers assume that what works in New York, San Francisco and Portland should work here.  This assumption ignores the reality that Southerners have a very different perspective on "...
Feb 25, 2011
Among the many state programs whose futures hang in the balance as North Carolina’s leadership wrestles with how to close the state’s projected budget shortfall are the four “trust funds” that have served as the primary sources of funding for land conservation over the past few decades. As leaders debate their future, a new report released by the Trust for Public Land (TPL) earlier this week demonstrates that the return on investment of these programs since 1998 has been significant.
Feb 17, 2011
Since 2007 the American School Bus Council (ASBC) has coordinated a national “Love the Bus” month in February. The goal is to raise awareness for the job that the hundreds of thousands of school bus drivers across the country do every day. A tool just released by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and ASBC gives new reasons to “love” what these drivers and their vehicles do for the environment and our individual pocketbooks.
Feb 11, 2011
Headlines have highlighted multiple demographic trends affecting Charlotte and the metro area over the last decade. “Carolinas lead the nation in Hispanic growth,” read the headline of a Charlotte Observer story in 2008. The city has ranked highly on “Best City” lists for African Americans throughout the 2000s. Moving beyond the headlines, however, is there any clear demographic picture emerging for Charlotte’s future? A glimpse at the 2009 Census Bureau data (the final estimates before the 2010 official counts are released later this spring) provides some insight.
Feb 11, 2011
One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job is the fact that I spend some time in the office and some time outdoors. In fact, as almost any person who spends time in the field for their work will tell you (or any avid outdoorsman for that matter), to have a successful time outside you have to do...
Feb 03, 2011
A partnership between the City of Charlotte, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board, and the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute announces the establishment of the BusinessFirst Charlotte Confidence Index. Created to assess the opinions of Charlotte business executives pertaining to local and national economic trends and how they expect their business to perform, the BusinessFirst Charlotte Confidence Index will produce quarterly reports focused on expectations of the coming quarter.
Jan 27, 2011
One of the transportation indicators that the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute tracks as part of its Charlotte Regional Indicators Project is a measure of congestion that is included as part of an annual Urban Mobility Report, published by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI).  That...
Jan 13, 2011
Today’s public libraries are expected to deliver traditional services in a rapidly changing technological environment . As libraries struggle to maintain high quality programs that are financially sustainable, the impact of the recent recession and the consequent decline in financial support further challenges libraries to find ways to survive while continuing to deliver essential services.
Jan 11, 2011
Together with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute completed a study to estimate the value of public libraries to Mecklenburg County residents in 2010.  (Note: This study was begun in July of 2009.  The findings from this report were determined before...
Jan 11, 2011
Together with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute completed a study to estimate the value of public libraries to Mecklenburg County residents in 2010.  (Note: This study was begun in July of 2009.  The findings from this report were determined before...
Jan 06, 2011
City-County consolidation, when a county and the cities within a county merge to form a single government entity, is the most visible and comprehensive change in the local government structure. With an average passage rate of fifteen percent, and only forty total consolidations in the US, city-county consolidation is an extremely rare event. Yet, during this great recession, many communities such as Charlotte, along with Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Cleveland continue to entertain the idea in order to improve their economic competitiveness.
Dec 10, 2010
It’s no secret that the Charlotte region has been rapidly growing more urban over the past few decades.  Yet despite the record expansion of the urbanized area experienced during economic boom times, private landowners cling to over two million acres of undeveloped land in the Charlotte...
Nov 03, 2010
How do you paint a picture of the region’s progress on environmental issues? The Charlotte Regional Indicators Project does it by the numbers. “Environment” is one of several areas covered by the Indicators Project, and includes quantitative measures for air, water, and land. Specifically, the indicators include: unhealthy air quality days, vehicular emissions, water consumption, impaired streams, landfill waste disposal and developed acres.
Sep 23, 2010
How do you define good school bus service?  If you ask parents or students, you may hear about pickup times, long rides and time spent waiting at school for class to start or the evening bus to arrive.  With tightening budgets, school officials are more focused than ever on efficiency,...