Morrison County Gets a Grade of C on Opportunity Index

DSC00780There’s a nifty online interactive map that allows people to compare the different rates of opportunity across states and counties in the United States. It is called the Opportunity Index and was created by Measure of America and Opportunity Nation.

The Opportunity Index measures 16 key indicators along economic, educational, and community lines and provides a grade for each state and county in the nation.

Scoring is done on a scale of 100, with the top state in terms of opportunity being Vermont, which has a score of 66.58 out of 100.

Minnesota comes in at number 6 on the list, with a score of 61.62.

What’s really interesting is drilling down to the county level, which is easily accomplished with the search feature.

Morrison County, for which Little Falls is the county seat, scores at 46.32 in opportunity. The letter grade assigned by the Opportunity Index is a “C”. You can see Morrison County’s opportunity score, along with the factors measured, here: http://opportunityindex.org/#9.00/45.985/-94.053/Morrison/Minnesota.

A few of the statistics from the index are as follows:

Morrison County’s unemployment rate is 7.5%, compared to 4.5% in the state and 6.3% in the nation.

The county’s poverty rate is 13.2%, compared to 11.4% in the state and 15.1% in the nation.

25.6% of adults have an associate’s degree or higher, compared to 43.8% in the state and 37.1% in the nation.

There are 75.52 doctors per 100,000 people in Morrison County, compared to 301.1 in the state and 270.17 in the nation.

The county’s violent crime rate is one of the most positive measures on the list, with a rate of 79.21  per 100,000. This compares to 230.9 in the state and 386.9 in the nation.

How do you feel about Morrison County’s “C” grade? Do you think the Opportunity Index is measuring the right things? Should some other factor be considered that isn’t on the list? How might we improve the county’s opportunity level?

If you want to check out the opportunity levels in other counties, visit the site’s home page.

One thought on “Morrison County Gets a Grade of C on Opportunity Index

  1. I Wonder if our air quality has ever been monitored? Especially during summer months when the live fire explosions at Camp Ripley are bursting in air? From the hundreds of meetings I have attended, I am deeply troubled to hear how much phosphorus and nitrates are in our local groundwater AND the Mississippi. The toxins list for all weaponry is staggering. All those poisons ARE slowly sickening and killing us all. This city will be required to keep that phosphorus out of our wastewater soon, before discharging into the river and that will cost MILLIONS. City is not prepared for that at all. Storm water runoff will be a very HOT TOPIC in the next few years. Already Lake Pepin in southeastern Mn is dying off from all the pollutants(mostly phosphorus) being dumped into the Mississippi. All of the runoff from Ripley comes directly towards Little Falls and toxins from there are bound to be in our groundwater reservoirs too. When they do their annual spring burns where do you think all the contaminant residue left in the grasses and tree foliage goes, if not directly into the air that comes right over Morrison County and Little Falls?Doubt me? Look up populations health living within 10 miles of military bases with live fire. RDX, nitrates, lead, mercury, white and red phosphorus, depleted uranium, are just a few of the lethal chemicals used at Camp Ripley. They are not monitored by ANY environmental agency. This is really frightening. There is a likely correlation to low birth weight, birth defects, cancers, breathing issues and high obesity levels. I have asked Live Better Live Longer to investigate but I bet they won’t. Major John Donovan from Camp Ripley is on their board. The $$$$$ economic impact on this city and county seem to be the driving factors for everything…..including allowing Ripley Guard soldiers to penetrate our entire school system to desensitize our youth to the war machine AND enhance their image. Say nothing of an early recruitment tool. I wonder how receptive Superintendent
    Jones would be to allowing Rory Fanning to speak to our youth. He gives presentations all over this nation after walking across America for the Pat Tillman Foundation and raised 3.6 million dollars. Look him up. His first book is titled “Worth Fighting For.” Pat Tillmans death was covered up just days before his comrade Rory Fanning, who served in the same army Rangers unit, left the Army Rangers as a conscientious objector. Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire and not by the enemy, As stated originally by the Army. Former Captain and West Point grad Derek Amlie, who spoke at the first annual Central Mn Peace and Diversity Fair on June 22, 2012, said the Pat Tillman coverup was a red flag to him also. The best thing we could do for all of our sake AND THE PLANET, would be to limit or better yet end, the live fire exercises at Camp Ripley. Has our health been completely high-jacked by the killing machine 4 miles north of town?

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