Regional Opportunity Index

In mid-2015, the Commission began to update its Land Use and Resource Management Plan (LURMP), which contains policies for preserving the land uses and resources of the Primary Zone. In addition to studying Land Use changes since the LURMP was first adopted in 1995, the Commission wanted to understand the current socio-economic conditions of the Delta.  To that end, the Commission worked with the UC Davis Center for Regional Change, which has developed the Regional Opportunity Index (ROI), a sophisticated methodology for understanding and analyzing patterns of socio-economic opportunity in California.  The Delta report was presented to the Commission at the November 2015 meeting – both the full report (PDF) and the presentation slides (PDF) are available here.


The ROI is a powerful information resource that compares indicators for education, local economy, housing, transportation infrastructure, health care services and civic engagement and compares them to statewide averages.  Making a distinction between the characteristics that describe populations and those inherent in the place itself, the ROI can identify areas that need further research, or that may be promising points for intervention. It should be noted that the ROI measures many indicators that are urban in nature – for example, number of hospitals close by or variety of jobs available – for which agricultural regions such as the Central Valley and the Delta will score below “average” due to their rural characteristics.

How will the Commission use the results?

There is a tremendous quantity of helpful information generated by this tool that will offer preliminary data as the Commission updates the Land Use and Resource Management Plan and the Economic Sustainability Plan. During that process, areas of concern identified by the ROI can be specifically addressed if determined to be relevant to improving the Delta’s economy and quality of life.

Check it out for yourself

Anyone can access the ROI, and look at their own or other regions through a variety of filters that show statewide comparisons.