Yost Index update

We’ve updated the Yost Index at the census tract level for 2015-2019 as follows:

  1. Moved the file to figshare. Figshare is a repository for figures (hence the name), data, tables – whatever researchers need to make available that goes beyond what can be contained within a research paper. The link here is to the data file itself, which is all most users are interested in. For anyone who would like to replicate this work, the R file and all the census raw data files are also on Figshare, 369 files and almost 2 gigabytes in total. Find that here.
  2. In response to a reviewer’s comment, we modified the way the index was calculated slightly. Instead of performing the factor analysis on all seven variables (income, rent, house value, unemployment, education, poverty, and employment sector), we first merged the house value and rent variables into a single housing variable, and then performed the factor analysis on the resulting six variables. This is because nearly 2% of the census tracts in the US were being dropped because they had either no rental units or no owned units – the latter included many public housing projects. Given that these two measures are both highly correlated and get little weight in the index calculation, we do not think the results are sensitive to this choice.

Eventually I will repeat this exercise with other years of data and migrate everything to Figshare.

The paper which describes our methods in full is awaiting publication in the journal SSM Population Health.

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