From 2010 to 2016, the Boston Fed’s Regional & Community Outreach (R&CO) team surveyed community development corporations, economic development agencies, banks, and other community leaders across New England to get a sense of emerging issues. The New England Community Outlook Survey (COS) was one of several similar surveys around the Federal Reserve System designed to inform the regional banks’ development of efforts to improve the economic strength of lower-income people and communities in their respective districts.
After each survey, the Boston Fed published a report highlighting the many lessons learned and delving into the themes that stood out. Secondary sources were used to identify possible explanations or motivations for those emerging themes, which included urban, rural, and suburban poverty and the social and economic effects of increasing drug abuse, during the COS’s operational life.
R&CO regularly evaluates and refines its data-collection activities and instruments. Although the COS is now retired, we continue to gather important data and insights on pressing low- and moderate-income issues in New England through the most innovative and effective means currently available.