Social Indicators

Social indicators are numerical measures that describe and evaluate the social, economic, and psychological well-being of individuals or communities. They were developed to characterize community well-being for coastal communities engaged in fishing activities. Social indicators comprise one variable or several components combined into an index. 

Developing Social Indicators

In order to develop robust indicators, a cross-section of experts, including NOAA Fisheries scientists and other partners, have worked together to develop, evaluate, and improve upon the indicators and their application. In the future, additional indicators may be developed and current indicators may be improved upon as new information becomes available.

Working with our partners, we have updated these indicators to include all communities in U.S. coastal counties. Our social indicators characterize the well-being and level of dependence on commercial and recreational fishing for over 3,800 communities. Each community’s index score is relative to all communities in the index and would differ with a more regional focus. For a regional assessment, contact a NOAA Fisheries social scientist in your region. 

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