MTC Plan Bay Area 2050 Equity Priority Communities

Identify census tracts within the Bay Area that are considered a Equity Priority Communities (EPCs) (formerly referred to as Communities of Concern (CoC)) as defined by MTC Resolution No. 4217-Equity Framework for Plan Bay Area 2040 The Joint MTC Planning Committee with the ABAG Administrative Committee approved renaming “Communities of Concern (CoCs)” as “Equity Priority Communities (EPCs)” for use across our work products and programs on May 14, 2021 (refer to materials here).

Project Management

Table of Contents

Data Sources

Analysis Parameters

The 2020 update of MTC’s Equity Priority Communities follows the Equity Priority Communities Framework for Plan Bay Area 2050, and is based on on 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year tract level data. The MTC EPC Framework is provided below as well as a summary table which provides the 8 EPC demographic factors, definitions of demographic factors, census-tract concentration thresholds, relevant ACS table variables, and ACS variable definitions.

Equity Priority Communities Framework Plan Bay Area 2050

Demographic Factor Mean of
Tract-Level Shares
.5 SD
PBA2050 Threshold
(High EPC)
1 SD
(Higher EPC)
1.5 SD
(Highest EPC)
People of Color 58% 24% 70% 82% 94%
Low-Income (<200% Federal Poverty Level-FPL) 21% 14% 28% 35% 42%
Limited English Proficiency 8% 8% 12% 16% 20%
Zero-Vehicle Household 9% 12% 15% 21% 27%
Seniors 75 Years and Over 6% 5% 8% 11% 14%
People with Disability 10% 5% 12% 15% 18%
Single Parent Families 13% 9% 18% 22% 26%
Rent-Burdened 10% 8% 14% 18% 22%

Definition: Census Tracts that have a cocentration of BOTH people of color AND low-income households, OR that have a concentration of 3 or more of the remaining 6 factors (#3 to #8) but only IF they also have a concentration of low-income households.

Summary of MTC EPC Demographic Factors & Demographic Factor Definitions

ACS Table Variables and MTC EPC Demographic Factors Lookup

Demographic Factor Demographic Factor Definition Concentration Threshold
People of Color People of Color populations include persons who identify as any of the following groups as defined by the Census Bureau in accordance with guidelines provided by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget: American Indian or Alaska Native Alone (non-Hispanic/non-Latino); Asian Alone (non-Hispanic/non-Latino); Pacific Islander Alone (non-Hispanic/non-Latino); Black or African-American Alone (non-Hispanic/non-Latino); and Other (Some Other Race, Two or More Races, non-Hispanic/non-Latino); and all Hispanic/Latino persons. 70%
Low Income (< 200% Federal Poverty Level -FPL) Person living in a household with incomes less than 200% of the federal poverty level established by the Census Bureau. 28%
Limited English Proficienty Person above the age of 5 years, who do not speak English at least “well” as their primary language or had a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English at least “well”, as defined by the U.S. Census. 12%
Zero-Vehicle Household Households that do not own a personal vehicle. 15%
Seniors 75 Years and Over Self-explanatory. 8%
People with Disability The U.S. Census Bureau defines disability as: Hearing difficulty- deaf or having serious difficulty hearing (DEAR); Vision difficulty- blind or having serious difficulty remembering, concentrating, or making decisions (DREM); Ambulatory difficulty- having serious difficulty walking or climbing stars (DPHY; Self-care difficulty- having difficulty bathing or dressing (DDRS); Independent living difficulty- because of a physical, mental, or emotional problem, having difficulty doing errands alone such as visiting a doctor’s office or shopping (DOUT). 12%
Single-Parent Family Families with at least one child. To determine whether or not single-parent families exceed tract concentration thresholds, the share of single parent families is calculated as a share of all families regardless of whether or not they have any children. 18%
Severely Rent-Burdened Household Renters paying > 50% of income in rent. To determine whether or not severely rent-burdened households exceed tract concentration thresholds, the share of severely rent-burdened households is calculated as a share of all households regardless of occupancy status (renter or owner). 14%


Processing Tools and Code

The analysis was performed in python and leverages the American Community Survey (ACS) API which is documented here: ACS API and the Census TIGER/Web API for spatial data which is documented here: TIGER/Web REST API

To explore the technical processing methods, please review the EPC Processing Python Notebook

Calculate MTC EPC Demographic Factor Population from ACS Variable Populations

The table below provides the calculations that were performed to get demographic factor populations and demographic shares. To translate from variable to written description, please review the ACS Table Variables and MTC EPC Demographic Factors Lookup. ACS Variables are also defined on the American Community Survey (ACS) website. To get variable definitions as well as the layout of tables without the estimates or margins of error filled in, download 2018 ACS Detailed Table Shells as an Excel spreadsheet.

The link below provides the EPC schema and domains, along with calculations and written descriptions of the calculations which may be helpful for analysis purposes. Below the link is a table for informational purposes.

EPC Schema With Field Descriptions, Population & Share Calculations

Demographic Factor Demographic Factor Population Based on ACS Variable Population Demographic Factor Population as a Share of Universe (Population, Households, Families)
People of Color B03002_001E - B03002_003E (B03002_001E -B03002_003E)/B03002_001E
Low Income (< 200% Federal Poverty Level -FPL) C17002_001E - C17002_008E C17002_001E -C17002_008E/C17002_001E
Limited English Proficienty B16005_007E + B16005_008E + B16005_012E + B16005_013E + B16005_017E + B16005_018E + B16005_022E + B16005_023E + B16005_029E + B16005_030E + B16005_034E + B16005_035E + B16005_039E + B16005_040E + B16005_044E + B16005_045E (B16005_007E + B16005_008E + B16005_012E + B16005_013E + B16005_017E + B16005_018E + B16005_022E + B16005_023E + B16005_029E + B16005_030E + B16005_034E + B16005_035E + B16005_039E + B16005_040E + B16005_044E +B16005_045E)/B16005_001E
Zero-Vehicle Household B08201_002E B08201_002E/B08201_001E
Seniors 75 Years and Over B01001_023E + B01001_024E + B01001_025E + B01001_047E + B01001_048E + B01001_049E (B01001_023E + B01001_024E + B01001_025E + B01001_047E + B01001_048E + B01001_049E)/B01001_001E
People with Disability C18108_001E - (C18108_005E + C18108_009E + C18108_013E) (C18108_001E -(C18108_005E + C18108_009E + C18108_013E))/C18108_001E
Single-Parent Family B11004_010E + B11004_016E (B11004_010E + B11004_016E)/B11004_001E
Severely Rent-Burdened Household B25070_010E B25070_010E/B08201_001E

Expected Outcomes