The RCI exhibits a distinct geographic pattern. Metropolitan regions in the Northeast and Midwest regions tend to have High, Very High, or Medium resilience capacity, in contrast to the propensity for Very Low, Low, and Medium resilience capacity for metropolitan regions in the South and Southwest. Northeastern and Midwestern regions generally earn high scores for one or more indicators in each of the three categories of resilience, including regional affordability, health-insured, homeownership and metropolitan stability. In contrast, places that have experienced rapid population growth and considerable population churn, as characterizes many metros of the South and West, often earn low resilience scores particularly for several Community Connectivity indicators, including voter participation, homeownership and metropolitan stability. Read More
Beyond the broad-grained geographic pattern is a remarkable degree of variation. Washington has at least one metropolitan region in each of the quintiles, ranging from Seattle, which is ranked Very High and Yakima, ranked Very Low. Similar within-state variegation characterizes resilience capacity in Indiana, North Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia, which likewise have at least one metropolitan region in each of the five quintiles of resilience capacity, in some instances adjacent to one another.
The geographic pattern reflects in part the composition of the RCI, which is a metric of capacity rather than past performance (see Resilience Capacity Index in main menu). Traditional performance metrics, such as population or employment growth, yield rankings favoring fast-growing metropolitan regions in the South and West. The RCI favors attributes, including metropolitan stability, regional affordability, homeownership and income equality, often found in slower-growing regions. In some instances, as for Madison, WS and Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT, metropolitan regions of the Midwest and Northeast with Very High RCI attain that status by offsetting Low Regional Economic capacity with High or Very High Socio-Demographic and Community Connectivity capacity (see RCI by Capacity Type). In contrast, regions in the West or South may offset Low Community Connectivity or Socio-Demographic capacity by Very High levels of Regional Economic capacity, as occurs for Boulder, CO, Salt Lake City, UT and Albuquerque, NM, for example.

The RCI was developed by the University at Buffalo Regional Institute, State University of New York.