By HARRIET PROTHRO PENROD
The Community Foundation of North Louisiana presented its annual Community Counts report card in the auditorium of Ochsner LSU St. Mary Medical Center-Women’s and Children’s Center on Thursday afternoon.
“To devise change, we have to know where we are,” said CFNLA Chairman Glenn Kinsey. “This creates a roadmap for our social capital investment.”
The CFNLA has been tracking data and publishing Community Counts since 2008 in an effort to help drive transformational change in our area. The annual report shows the quality of life for the Shreveport-Bossier area and helps the CFNLA assess the impact of funding and programs and identifies areas needing additional support.
Community Counts 2022 was presented by Dr. Dave Norris, Louisiana Tech’s Chief Research and Innovation Officer followed by an overview from CFNLA Chief Executive Officer Kristi Gustavson. The CFNLA uses the data provided by Community Counts to drive its grantmaking priorities.
According to the CFNLA’s 2021 Annual Report, over $8 million in grants and scholarships were made to 339 nonprofits; more than $7.7 million was contributed to CFNLA by generous donors; and Give for Good 2021 raised a record-breaking $2.2 million from more than 5,400 donors making a total of 10,120 gifts.
Data for the Shreveport-Bossier Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is collected and tracked in six categories: population, economic well-being, human capital, health, social environment, and physical environment.
Data is ranked and compared to 10 other peer communities similar in size and geographic location as well as the Monroe MSA – including Jackson (Miss.), Chattanooga (Tenn.), Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers (Ark.), Lafayette, Huntsville (Ala.), Killeen-Temple (Texas), Montgomery (Ala.), Columbus (Ga.), and Roanoke (Va.).
Here are the results for Shreveport-Bossier compared to the other MSA’s (numbers are from 2020):
- Population: 397,590 ranks 7th (same rank as 2019)
- Economic Well-Being: median household income of $46,610 ranks 10th (with an increase of 13.4 percent since 2010)
- Poverty: percent of families below poverty level of 16.2 percent ranks 10th (same rank as 2019)
- Education: percent of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in school of 52.9 percent ranks 2nd (up from 3rd in 2019)
- Health: mortality rate of 1319.0 ranks 9th (was 8th in 2019)
- Social Environment: percentage of population registered to vote of 65.5 percent ranks 6th (was 9th in 2019)
Data about the social environment showed that the violent crime rate and property crime rate for Shreveport-Bossier MSA has steadily decreased since 2005, although there was an uptake in 2020.
According to the data, areas of concern are children and poverty and health challenges. The poverty rate for families with children under age 5 is 30 percent (second to Monroe) while Shreveport-Bossier has the highest rate of low-weight births and is second highest in low-birth rate.
The full Community Counts report can be found on CFNLA’s website at cfnla.org/data.
Contact Harriet at email@example.com