Child Opportunity Index (COI)

Neighborhoods matter. Children who live in neighborhoods with quality schools, safe housing, access to healthy food, parks, clean air and economic opportunities air are more likely to grow into healthy, productive adults than children who do not have access to these resources. The Child Opportunity Index (COI) measures and maps the quality of resources and conditions like these that matter for children’s healthy development in the neighborhoods where they live. 

The COI is a composite index of children’s neighborhood opportunity that contains data for every neighborhood (census tract) in the United States from every year for 2012 through 2021. It is comprised of 44 indicators in three domains (education, health and environment, and social and economic) and 14 subdomains. 

Underlying all our work is a commitment to equity. We believe all children deserve an equal opportunity to grow and learn. Our core question asks whether all children—regardless of where they live or their race and ethnicity—have a fair chance of experiencing neighborhood conditions that help them thrive. We aim to expand the national discourse on inequality to encompass not only income and wealth but also the neighborhood environments where children grow up. 

Developed in 2014 in collaboration with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, the COI has been widely used to spark discussions on unequal access to opportunity and to spur policies, programs and actions that advance racial/ethnic equity.

COI 3.0, launched in 2024, responds to users’ requests for an updated index and includes new data and improved methods.

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