PLANWake Metrics Dashboard

PLANWake includes a strategic set of performance metrics, meant to evaluate progress over time. The metrics provided in PLANWake were a starting point that are being built upon as reporting tools and strategies are developed. As outcomes are measured, results will be shared on this dashboard. Evaluation efforts will examine long, mid and short-term outcomes.

New PLANWake Metrics

Below you will find the first seven metrics tied to PLANWake outcomes. Some of the metrics have been adapted from those originally outlined in PLANWake but they all are fundamentally the same.  Each of these metrics gives us a baseline from which to monitor outcomes as initiatives associated with PLANWake are adopted. These measures will be updated over time and additional measures will be evaluated as PLANWake implementation continues.

1. Increase Household Income
PLANWake sets the goal to reduce the number of employed residents who aren't making a living wage.

The American Community Survey, from the Census Bureau, provides the percentage of households with incomes below $50,000. Through Countywide efforts, including the implementation of PLANWake, the goal is to see this percentage fall below 25%.

2. Increase Non-Automotive Trips 
PLANWake sets the goal of limiting the average vehicle miles traveled (VMT) as the population grows.

Using the estimated vehicle miles traveled (VMT) number, provided by NCDOT, divided by the Census Bureau’s estimate of population, we get the average VMT in Wake County. Through Countywide efforts, including the implementation of PLANWake, the goal is to see this number stay consistent or decrease, even as the population increases. 

3. Protect Open Space
PLANWake sets the goal of protecting parks and open space.

Using Wake County parcel data, the number of acres that are considered open space can be found. Through Countywide efforts, including the implementation of PLANWake, the goal is to keep 30% of Wake County as protected open space.

View the map of open space here

4. Intentional Development 
PLANWake intends to align development by directing growth and development toward cities and towns.

This measure looks at the development framework classification where residential units were built. In PLANWake, 97% of new growth and development will occur in Community (yellow), Transit-focused (orange), and Walkable (purple) areas. Rural (dark green) and Community Reserve (light green) would increase by 3% during the same time span. The following visuals show development in each category since the implementation of PLANWake.  

Learn more about the Development Framework Map here.

5. Expand Access to Services for Vulnerable Populations
PLANWake sets the goal of increasing access to services for vulnerable populations.

The Community Resilience report from the Census Bureau measures ten risk factors that may impact people and communities. The report gives us a point-in-time look at the percentage of Wake County residents who lived in communities with three or more risk factors, which include 1) income-to-poverty ratio, 2) single or zero caregiver household, 3) crowding, 4) communication barrier, 5) households without full-time, year-round employment, 6) disability, 7) no health insurance, 8) age 65+, 9) no vehicle access, and 10) no broadband internet access. 

Wake County Residents Experiencing Three or More Risk Factors
Year Residents Percent Target Result
2021 173,414 15.3% ≤15% Not meeting target
2022 165,147 14.2% ≤15% Meeting target


The goal is to see this percentage fall below 15% of residents through countywide efforts, including implementing PLANWake. Click the following link (Community Resilience Estimates) to explore results by state or county. If you would like to get in touch with the team developing the Community Resilience estimates, please reach out to Census Bureau Customer Service at

6. Reduce the Percentage of Households Burdened by the Cost of Housing and Transportation
PLANWake sets the goal of reducing the number of households overburdened by housing and transportation costs.

The Housing and Transportation Affordability Index provides a point-in-time look at affordability in Wake County that combines housing and transportation costs. Through Countywide efforts, including the implementation of PLANWake, the goal is to see the combined cost of housing and transportation be no more than 45% of household income.

Currently, in Wake County, the average housing and transportation cost equals 44% of a typical household income.

Release Year

Percent of Household Income used for Housing and Transportation

Data Vintage

2016 48% 2015 ACS
2022 44% 2019 ACS


Housing and Transportation Index

7. Decrease Population Experiencing Severe Housing Problems 
PLANWake aims to reduce the number of households living in units with severe housing issues, such as overcrowding, high housing costs, or a lack of kitchen or plumbing facilities.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) receives custom tabulations of American Community Survey (ACS) data from the U.S. Census Bureau. These data, known as the "CHAS" data (Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy), demonstrate the extent of housing problems and housing needs, particularly for low-income households. Local governments use the CHAS data to plan how to spend HUD funds and is used by HUD to distribute grant funds.

For more background on the CHAS data, including data documentation and a list of updates and corrections to previously released data, click here: Background.