Local News

Equity Map Shows Social Disparities

Finding solutions to social problems such as poverty, hunger, and health inequities starts with having good data. From there, policy makers and community members can develop effective solutions.

This is the goal of the nonprofit Advance OC, whose motto is Data, Action, Impact.

Katie Kalvoda from Advance OC gave a presentation to City Council on August 3 about a project called the Orange County Equity Map and how it can help local leaders develop effective solutions to social inequities in our city and region.

“Orange County has one of the most beautiful landscapes in California. However, our community, like many others, is challenged by systemic health, housing, educational, economic, and opportunity disparities,” she said as her presentation began.

The Orange County Equity Map, which can be viewed and explored online at www.advanceoc.com compiles population, demographic, health, and environmental data from every census tract in Orange County and assigns it a Social Progress Index score.

This interactive platform provides a simple way to investigate disparities at the county, city, and neighborhood levels.

What does the Data Show?

According to the data compiled, out of the 34 cities in Orange County, Fullerton ranks 26th, with a social progress index score of 43 out of 100.

There are wide social disparities between north and south Orange County.

Screen shot of Orange County Equity Map showing social disparities between north and south Orange County.

In Fullerton, there are significant disparities between the north and south sides of the City itself.

Orange County Equity Map shows social disparities between north and south sides of Fullerton.

These disparities are in social conditions such as:

-Nutrition and Basic Medical Care

-Water and Sanitation


-Personal Safety

-Access to Basic Education

-Access to Information and Communications

-Health and Wellness

-Environmental Quality

-Personal Rights

-Personal Freedom and Choice


-Access to Advanced Education

Using the Equity Map allows users to view and compare these quality-of-life metrics in every census tract (neighborhood) in the County.

As the Equity Map shows, these disparities also correlate to COVID-19 vulnerability and case rates, with higher vulnerability and case rates in north Orange County, and south Fullerton.

The purpose of this data mapping is to help local leaders invest wisely with a focus on providing more equity and care for those who need it.

4 replies »

  1. Lance Langdon did not address my questions in his article. He displayed data from the 2020 census and chose to correlate this data with his opinions.

  2. What statistical method used to determine there is a positive correlation between social disparities and COVID cases in Orange County? Please, further define “COVID-19 vulnerability” as it pertains to COVID’s spike’s ability to penetrate lung cells or does it increase COVID’s viability in the air from three hours max to four or five thus increasing the “viral load”?

    • Hilda – read the Observer reporter Lance Langdon’s August 20 update on covid “Health Officials urge vaccination as Delta surge worsens” – really informative. Also scary about long haul covid and how many in Fullerton aren’t vaccinated..