Neighborhoods matter. Children who live in neighborhoods with quality early childhood education and schools, safe housing, access to healthy food, parks and playgrounds and clean air are more likely to grow into healthy, productive adults than children who don’t. The Child Opportunity Index (COI) measures and maps the quality of resources and conditions that matter for children to develop in a healthy way in the neighborhoods where they live.

Underlying all our work is a commitment to equity. We believe all children deserve an equal opportunity to grow and learn. Our core question is whether all children—regardless of where they live or their race and ethnicity—have a fair chance of experiencing neighborhood conditions that help them thrive. We hope to widen the national conversation about addressing inequality to include not only income and wealth but also the neighborhood environments that our children experience. 

Developed in 2014 in collaboration with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, the COI has been widely used to spark conversations about unequal access to opportunity and to spur actions to increase equity.

COI 2.0, launched in 2020, responds to users’ requests for an updated index and includes new data and improved methods.