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Civic Quality

Civic Quality measures the affordability of a region, the health and safety of its citizens, and the recreational opportunities that impact its quality of life.

Best Practices & Deeper Dives

How to Read the Tiles How to Read the Tiles


The affordability of a community cannot be assessed by just looking at the cost of expenditures. The cost of housing must be viewed in the context of the income that can be earned in the community. Generally, housing costs should not exceed 30 percent of a household's total income. As housing costs climb in some areas, wages have failed to keep pace, and this discrepancy may put a large segment of the population at risk. Transportation costs are a family’s second highest expense, behind housing.

Share of Transportation Expenditures
Share of Housing Expenditures
Share of Housing and Transportation Expenditures


Affordability remains a top concern for Tampa Bay residents. Housing costs now account for 42.61% of a household’s average expenses, an increase of over 3 percentage points in a single year.

When looking at the affordability of housing and transportation combined, we see a national increase in expenses of about 2.5 percentage points. In all of the top twenty comparison communities, more than half of every dollar earned is now spent on transportation and housing. For Tampa Bay residents (rank 18th), we now spend 57.06% of our household budget on housing and transportation. Minneapolis-St. Paul is ranked 1st at 52.47%, 4.59 percentage points less expensive than our region. However, in South Florida, transportation and housing expenses account for just under 60 cents of every dollar.


  • Households may experience challenges paying for basic needs
  • Residents may be forced to relocate to find more affordable housing options within the state, or elsewhere.


  • Improvements in overall wage and income may reflect higher paying jobs relative to expenditures
  • May also reflect the creation of more affordable transportation and housing options


  • Supply and Demand of housing, jobs, migration etc. 
  • Multi-modal transit options 
  • Multi-Family Units
  • Interest Rates 
  • Higher paying jobs