The purpose of the Equality Indicators is to capture progress toward the betterment of the lives of the subgroups of the NYC population who are mostly likely to experience inequalities on a specific issue. Therefore, for most indicators we looked into the experiences of the most and least disadvantaged populations on that particular issue. We arrived at these groups and the issues to measure based on the review of the literature and feedback from experts and community groups. Although there are many other groups adversely affected by inequalities in NYC, groups which are the focus of specific indicators are:
Most of the individual indicators compare the most and least disadvantaged populations on a particular issue. For example, we compare: the percentage of people with and without a disability who are unemployed; and the percentage of women and men obtaining degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. Another example: the indicator on jail admissions—one of four indicators measuring fairness in the justice system—compares blacks to whites. In this way, the Equality Indicators captures progress (or setbacks) for specific groups in particular areas of life in which they tend to be disadvantaged. Cumulative progress for these groups across different areas of life would be a sign of increasing equality citywide.