Research and Analysis
Understanding the urban economic ecosystem
The ultimate source for urban economic data
ICIC’s State of the Inner City Economies (SICE) database measures indicators of business vitality, resident prosperity, for inner cities in relation to their surrounding central cities and regions. In-depth profiles provide comprehensive information on urban demographics, jobs and wage data, business trends, commercial real estate data, venture capital data, and geographical maps and boundaries. No other organization compiles this detailed, longitudinal information in one database. SICE data enables our clients, corporate partners, foundations and policy makers to uncover drivers of performance, increase private investment and sharpen public policy.
The foundation of our research is a clear definition of what qualifies as an inner city area and an understanding of the importance of industry clusters to the workings of a healthy economy.
We define inner cities as core urban areas that currently have higher unemployment and poverty rates and lower median income levels than the surrounding region. Inner cities have a 20% or higher poverty rate or at least two of the following three criteria:
- Poverty rate of 1.5 times or more than that of their region
- Median household income of 1/2 or less than that of their region
- Unemployment rate of 1.5 or more than that of their region
ICIC uses U.S. Census data and relevant research to identify inner cities. Census data is examined at the tract level and compared to the surrounding region to determine accurate inner city locations.
Cities with large inner city immigrant populations tend to grow much faster than other cities.
The most effective way to create economic equality in America's inner cities is to focus on sustainable business growth and investment in these inner cities.
Mary Kay Leonard,
President and CEO