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BRAC releases new statistics - how has the capital region grown in recent years?

3 months 4 days 16 hours ago Tuesday, April 16 2024 Apr 16, 2024 April 16, 2024 9:06 AM April 16, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - In the years post-pandemic, economic and social growth may have been a topic of some skepticism — but the recent report from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber's Economic Metrics Dashboard shows the capital region has seen its fair share of growth. 

The dashboard tracks various aspects of life in and around the capital city to keep tabs on the quality of life of its residents. Things like commute time, average income, job opportunities, and test scores are all monitored through BRAC's EMD. 

The annual report was released Tuesday morning and reveals some new statistics that give insight as to what the BR area feels like economically and socially. 

BRAC says the key takeaways are as follows:

- Record-setting year for research and development investments at Baton Rouge Area higher ed institutions, reaching $356 million, a 15.6% increase over the prior year; 

- Significant improvement in 3rd-grade English LEAP test scores across ten out of twelve districts, with notable increases in Baker (16%), St. Helena (12%), and West Feliciana (11%); 

- Nearly 8% increase in employees working at minority-owned firms; 

- Average commute time in the region decreased by over a minute post-COVID; 

- Median household income grew by more than 10% between 2021 and 2022; 

- Reduction in the region's poverty rate to 15.7%; 

- BTR airport activity rebounded strongly to approximately 93% of pre-pandemic levels; 

- Share of residents holding a bachelor's degree surpassed 30% for the first time; 

- Nearly doubled number of internships advertised on the Handshake platform between 2022 & 2023; 

- Despite progress, women still earn 72 cents for every $1.00 made by men; 

- Net migration remains a concern, with a record net loss of 25-to-44-year-olds and people with four-year degrees in 2022; and, 

- Business applications declined by 21% between 2021 & 2022, though still 50% higher than 2019. 

The full dashboard can be viewed here

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