Methodology and Notes

The BMoC Dashboard uses numerous publicly available data sources to paint a picture of the status and well being of boys and young men of color in California. The dashboard aims to present the latest-available data on a range of indicators, and is framed to highlight opportunities for systems-change to improve the lives and outcomes of boys of color. The current list of indicators is derived from the Alliance’s collective wisdom and values, codified in the People’s Platform. The indicators use dynamic and responsive dashboards that allow users to select and filter data by geography, time and by race and ethnicity. 

Data is presented at the county-level. The dashboard relies on publicly available data sources, many of which are collected through surveys or other limited data tools. This means that some samples may be too small to accurately disaggregate data by detailed race and ethnicity groupings. For more details, see the race and ethnicity section of the methodology notes. 

All data sources are noted in each respective dashboard, and in detail in this page. 

Race and Ethnicity

Racial and ethnic categories have been standardized into mutually exclusive categories broadly used by social scientists and researchers. Because Latino is an ethnicity, unless otherwise noted, they are not included in the racial groupings and Latinos are coded into a separate category that includes Latinos of any race.

Mixed/other includes anyone who did not identify with one of the major racial/ethnic categories, or identifies with multiple racial categories. 


All indicators display data at the county-level. Because this dashboard is compiled from a variety of data sources, each with unique data collection and processing methodologies, geographies are standardized to the county-level for ease of comparison across indicators and across time. 

The U.S. Census’ American Community Survey (ACS) is one of the most important public data sources for economic and demographic data in the country, and is one of the primary data sources for the dashboard. This national survey collects data from a random selection of 1% of all U.S. households (about 3.5 million cases each year). The ACS does not collect information on the county in which residents reside, and instead uses a custom geographic unit called Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs). These PUMAs are geographic parcels that each contain about 100,000 people. Researchers that process the ACS data (such as the University of Minnesota’s IPUMS USA project) are able to match some of these PUMAs to some counties. Therefore, only 34 of 58 counties in California are available in the ACS public-use microdata used for this dashboard. 

For more details on the ACS data and its geographic limitations, see the National Equity Atlas’ methodology notes.

Data Reliability

In order to ensure that only statistically reliable data is reported, data based on survey responses with margins of error (i.e. U.S. Census Bureau data) are only reported if there are at least 100 unweighted cases in that category. Other data sources in this dashboard, like the CDC WONDER mortality data or the California Department of Education’s graduation rates data are based on full counts and may have different sample thresholds. 

ACS data in this dashboard use 5-year estimates to increase sample size and data reliability. This means that annual data represent 5-year averages (i.e. 2019 data is a pooled average of 2015-2019 data data). For more details, see the Census Bureau website on 5-year estimates.