EWU Institute Launches Whitman County Trends Website

June 27, 2024

Eastern Washington University’s Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis recently introduced its latest community project with the launch of the Whitman County Trends website.

The website provides key data indicators which cover a variety of factors like economic vitality, agriculture, health, housing, tourism and transportation. This comprehensive set of facts will help foster informed decision-making in both private and public settings around Whitman County.

Patrick Jones presenting new Whitman County Trends website to the Port of Whitman.

The Port of Whitman County worked with EWU to create the trends website as part of its effort to further local economic and community development efforts across the Palouse. The entire Institute team of seven worked on the project, including several data analyst interns, a communications intern and a design intern (from EWU’s Visual Communication Design Program).

“We are very happy to engage in Whitman County because it is our impression that up until now its residents have never enjoyed a ‘one-stop shop’ highlighting key measures of life,” says Patrick Jones, PhD, who is executive director of the Institute. “Rural America typically doesn’t receive the data attention that urban America does, and we think that the Trends website goes a long way to remedying this for a community of nearly 50,000.”

Including Whitman County, the Institute currently manages eight Trends websites which capture life in 10 Washington counties. A ninth project for the three counties in northeast Washington – Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille – is expected to launch this fall. This will be a reboot of a previous Trends website managed for that tri-county area.

“We are typically in discussion with other communities throughout the state about how a Trends project could come to them,” adds Jones. “Looking ahead, we hope a couple of the communities that have hosted a Trends project the longest will engage in a refresh of the measures.”

The Institute’s first project, Spokane Trends, launched in 2006 and is still active. In addition, it co-created and maintains the 39-county site called Vitals – AWB Institute.

For more information, contact Patrick Jones, Institute director at 509.358.2266, or visit Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis – Eastern Washington University (ewu.edu).

From Left: Institute programmer Kandy Moore; Director Patrick Jones; data intern and recent data analytics graduate Angelica Cortes; data intern and recent economics graduate Miranda Carmona.