This issue of Fun Facts is dedicated to:
Differences in Metropolitan Status
You might be thinking - "Ummm, what the heck does that mean??" Well, one of the things we've been curious about is the differences between urban, suburban and rural Senior Centers.
There are all sorts of fancy names for these differences (as we found out). Things like the Rural-Urban Continuum, Rurality Index, Metropolitan Status, etc. We were able
map all of the Centers in the Network along that continuum based on a few different data sources - it's pretty cool stuff.
Even though these fancy names exist, we like to refer to this issue as the
"City Mouse - Country Mouse" Edition
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Who am I? Why am I here?
50% of all Centers in the MySeniorCenter Network are in areas deemed to be 'Rural' (see the methodology description in the left margin). Not surprisingly though, those Centers are smaller than
their Suburban and Urban counterparts.
Urban Centers have the largest total membership but Suburban Centers had FAR more interactions/Center in October.
This raises financial questions (what are the budget/staff differences between each type of Center?) as well as cultural/social (why do Suburban members participate in so many more activities?)
We're here - now what?
In the past, we've looked at the programming/participation differences between Centers of different sizes, so we were really curious
to see what the Rurality analysis would show.
Suburban sites have the most balanced program participation with 4 categories above 15% of their total participation. Rural Centers have a concentration
in Social/Recreation and Meals. Close to 50% of all Urban participation is focused on meals.
The Rurality/Metropolitan/Continuum/whatever-we-want-to-call-it Analysis proved to be a really interesting way to look at differences across the Network. There are demographic, participation and programming
differences that showed up in ways that we didn't expect (by we, I mean MySeniorCenter - you may have expected all of these numbers). If you're curious about where your Center falls on the
continuum, just send an email and include the zipcode/postalcode of the Center somewhere in the message.