Using the site

This section is provided to help you make the most of Lancaster County Community Indicators, launched by The Steinman Foundation. 

Lancaster County Areas

This project includes data for Lancaster County, six surrounding counties (Berks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, and York), the state of Pennsylvania, the nation and Lancaster City.

A Guide to Lancaster County Community Indicators Website

Lancaster County Community Indicators is rich with information, with indicators provided in both text and graphic format. Detailed information, trends, and maps are also available. Some users will want quick reference information, while others will want more detail. Spending a few minutes reviewing this section may aid your work and help make using the Lancaster County Community Indicators website a more satisfying experience.

Organization of the Site

Information on this site can be accessed from the topic links that extend across the entire page just above the main image. To view a list of all of the indicators tracked, click the All Indicators tab on the right-hand side of the topic list. Helpful links are listed to the below the search bar and at the bottom of the website, including:

Page Name Content
Dashboards A visual summary of key indicator data across topic areas.
Mapping Data

Maps on select indicators listed by topic.

About Us

Information on the goals of Lancaster County Community Indicators and the organizations that participated in developing it and the geographic areas it encompasses.

Using the Site A guide to the site features and functions – current section.
What's New Articles/blogs regarding the community.
Resources Information about and links to other valuable sources of data.


The site is organized by topics, subtopics, and indicators. Eight categories or topics were selected for Lancaster Indicators. These topics are shown above the main image and arranged alphabetically across the page. By clicking on any of these topics, you will be provided with the Key Trends, Indicators, and Related Indicators. 

On each Key Trend topic page you will find a brief description of the topic. Below that are Featured Topic Indicators providing quick access to information that is featured on important issues impacting our county, and a summary of key trends, followed by a list of indicators in that topic. 

Here are several additional tips for navigating the Lancaster Indicators website:

To return to the home page... From any page on the site, you can return to the home page by clicking on the Lancaster County Community Indicators logo in the upper left corner of the page.
To get to a topic page... From any page on the site, you can navigate to a topic page by clicking on the name of the topic.
To customize charts... After clicking on the charts in the detailed indicator pages, you can customize your own chart with the data available by clicking on or off the items in the legend. To view the underlying data, hover over the chart. You may also print or save these charts using the buttons in the upper right corner of the chart.
To download data... After clicking on the detailed indicator pages, scroll to the bottom of a table to see the Download Data Table button. This will open an Excel spreadsheet.

A Glossary of Terms:

Term Definition and How it is Used in the Lancaster County Community Indicators Website
Indicator An indicator is a measure that helps to describe an economic, environmental, social, or cultural condition over time. An indicator is usually expressed as a rate or percent, such as the poverty rate, the unemployment rate, or the high school graduation rate. Lancaster County Community Indicators provides information and analysis on 70 indicators throughout this website. For each of the seven indicator categories, the individual indicators are accessed from the main page, or topic page. A list of every indicator is available by clicking on “All Indicators” on the right side of the Environment topic.
Inflation Adjusted This refers to an actual value that is adjusted to account for inflation. The changes in a series of actual values over time reflect several factors, including inflation. If the series is inflation adjusted, however, the changes reflect only the other factors. For example, median rent in our state (Financial Security) is adjusted to the most recent year in the series.
Median The median refers to the mid-point of a set of values. For example, median rent in our state (Financial Security) is $932. The median represents the mid-point of monthly rents (half the values are above the median and half below).
Percent The portion of the whole represented by any given value. The whole is 100 percent, and the percent of any given value is its relationship to 100 percent. Mathematically, the percent is derived by dividing the given value by the value of the whole, and then by multiplying the result by 100 to express the result as a percent.
Poverty Level The United States government uses two principal methods to measure poverty: the poverty thresholds established by the Census Bureau and the poverty guidelines used by the Department of Health and Human Services. The Census Bureau approach is used to determine how many people live in poverty, and the Health and Human Services data is used for various benefit programs, such as eligibility for food stamps. In some applications, eligibility for federal assistance programs is based on multiples of the poverty guidelines (such as 125% or 165% of the poverty level). The difference in these measures is not significant.
Rate The relationship between two values. For example, when driving, the rate of speed is measured by the distance traveled (miles) in a certain amount of time (hours). Hence, the rate of speed is expressed as miles per hour. Rates can be expressed in a variety of ways. Lancaster County Community Indicators strives to use rates that are understandable. An example is the violent crime rate per 1,000 residents (Community).