This can't be right. The City of Manhattan has spend $2.5 million over the past four years on consultants and reports and this one is free.
Kansas State University Research & Extension has produced a massive "Situation & Trends" study for all 105 counties in the State of Kansas. The report of Riley County is 79 pages long. The report covers population, income, local economy, housing, household composition, education, health, social environment, public finance, and agriculture.
The opening paragraph reads: "This report presents a variety of indicators that allow readers to evaluate Riley County's current situation and any change that has occurred over time. This information can be used in a variety of ways. One possibility is helping residents recognize trends affecting the county and how they are interrelated. Another is using the report to inform political discussion and policy debate using indicators as benchmarks for evaluating the success of specific policy decisions."
The data for all counties can be seen and reproduced by computer by logging on to www.oznet.ksu.edu/direct/sit&trends.htm.
For the display above the Free Press took data from Riley and Pottawatomie Counties and developed one sheet. Although Riley County is three times larger in population it is interesting to see Pottawatomie County in comparison. Riley County has declined in many areas and Pottawatomie County is one of the few in Kansas that has shown growth in the past ten years.
This data will be used by many cities and counties to retrieve information
without spending lots of money. What a great idea. More data will be printed
by the Free Press over the next few weeks.