The Economic, Demographic and Statistical Research (EDSR) unit conducts quantitative research to support the goals and initiatives of Fairfax County. The unit works with every county department and authority, as well as, Fairfax County Public Schools, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Northern Virginia Regional Commission and the U.S. Census Bureau. On an annual basis EDSR produces small-area economic and demographic estimates and forecasts for Fairfax County and conducts special studies and research. The data and analyses produced by EDSR are used for program planning, Capital Improvement Program (CIP) planning, policy initiatives, grant writing, budgeting, revenue forecasting, performance measurement, and to help decision-makers to leverage resources and align policies and programs to the county’s changing needs.
What We Do
The scope of work for the EDSR unit can be loosely defined into three categories – data production, data analysis and data dissemination.
Data Production – The EDSR unit annually produces small-area economic, population, housing, gross floor area and land-use estimates and forecasts for Fairfax County; and collects and summarizes local, state and federal data on Fairfax County.
Data Analysis – The EDSR unit conducts ad hoc economic, statistical and demographic research and analyses to support and inform county initiatives and provides technical expertise to county agencies conducting analyses.
Data Dissemination – The EDSR unit has been a leader in introducing big data and open data initiatives, making many of these products publicly available through the Fairfax County webpages. The EDSR unit’s efforts in these areas were recently recognized by the National Association of Counties (NACo) when they awarded Fairfax County a first place 2015 Digital Counties Survey award and a 2017 NACo Achievement Award. The Commonwealth of Virginia also recognized the EDSR unit’s innovative use of big data and analytics with a 2017 Governor’s Technology Award.