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About the Potomac Index

The 2001 Potomac Index is a joint project of the Potomac Conference and a research team led by the Brookings Greater Washington Research Program. It is designed to help citizens and leaders of the Washington metropolitan area understand how the region is changing and to measure the region’s progress on key economic, social, and environmental issues.

The Index is organized around five priorities identified as critical to the region’s success by participants in the Potomac Conference, a forum of area business, government and nonprofit leaders. These five priorities are: innovation, inclusion, education, quality of life, and regional thinking.

The 2001 Potomac Index confirmed that the region has a strong economy well positioned for future growth, a highly educated population and range of vigorous educational, philanthropic and nonprofit activity. It showed strong gains for minorities in homeownership, business ownership and Internet access, as well as improved high school dropout rates and plans for college attendance among District of Columbia public school students.

However, the Index raised cautionary flags about the shortage of affordable housing, poor water quality in the Anacostia River, and persistent traffic congestion and air pollution.

The region’s capacity to address such shared problems is complicated by the multiplicity of jurisdictions, the Index said. But Index surveys showed that residents feel part of the region and are willing to take a regional approach to mutual problems.

Contributors to the 2001 Potomac Index
Patricia S. Atkins

George Washington University

Gregory C. Goodwin

Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

Stephen S. Fuller

George Mason University

Keith Haller

Potomac Inc.

Steven R. Raabe

Potomac Inc.

David Robertson

Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

Margery Austin Turner

Urban Institute

Hal Wolman

George Washington University

Alice M. Rivlin

Brookings Greater Washington Research Program

Philip M. Dearborn

Brookings Greater Washington Research Program

Martha Ross

Brookings Greater Washington Research Program

Supplemental Information

Lack of space prevented us from including these graphics in the hard copy of the report. These maps accompany the indicator “Racial/Ethnic Diversity” on page 16.

Greater Washington Region

2000 Census Tract Maps by Race/Ethnicity









Advisors to the 2001 Potomac Index
Siobhan Canty

Greater DC Cares
Patricia A. McGuire

Trinity College
Michael A. Daniels

Dr. C.D. “Dan” Mote, Jr.

University of Maryland – College Park
Hon. Katherine K. Hanley

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Robert A. Peck

The Greater Washington Board of Trade
M. Charito Kruvant

Creative Associates International, Inc.
Julie L. Rogers

The Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
James F. Lafond

Pricewaterhousecoopers LLP
George Vradenburg

AOL Time Warner
Alan G. Merten

George Mason University

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