Quality of Life Index (QOLI)

The Quality-of-Life Index (QOLI) is a statewide planning tool intended to determine areas of high livability within Illinois.  This census tract-based tool is carefully designed to bring awareness to the details that make communities strong and where communities can improve the quality of life for its residents.

For consistency and universal applicability of metrics, the QOLI has been built using publicly available data. Indicators of Quality of Life were thoroughly vetted via a multi-year long research process. Quality of Life indicators (indicators) were carefully selected based on their relationship with the livability of a community. Please see the Quality of Life Index Categories for a full explanation of the datasets used to develop this tool.

The index was structured on a 10-point scale so that it may fit more directly within our QAP point structure. Each category is assigned 2 points in the 10-point scale that can be broken down to reveal what categories a Census Tract is successful in and which it is not. In this way, the QOLI becomes a map to an affordable housing development’s need and fit in a community and the needs it will be filling.

For the 2024-2025 QAP, the QOLI score will be replacing the Opportunity Area score for a project under the Community Characteristics scoring section.  QOLI scores have been updated as of June 30, 2023, and reflect 2020 census tracts and utilize 2021 ACS data.

The QOLI score can be searched in two ways. First, an excel look-up tool can be found here. Or the QOLI score can be found by utilizing the map below. After searching a location on the map below, a pop-up window will show the overall Quality of Life Index score for that census tract, as well as how that overall score was achieved.

For a tutorial video of how to use the new QOLI mapping tool please CLICK HERE