The Sustainability Dashboard empowers local governments, community organizations, residents and media with comprehensive sustainability metrics for each of San Mateo County’s 20 cities and unincorporated areas. Use the dashboard to:

  • Get the latest data on sustainability by city
  • Monitor progress and identify where more work is needed
  • Compare performance across cities
  • Identify trends across time

Click HERE to use the interactive sustainability dashboard tool.

For help using the dashboard and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), see below. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for additional metrics. Please use our online form or send an email to


Sustainability Dashboard

We are grateful to the donors, volunteers and community partners who help develop and support this project.

Visualization: The Sustainability Dashboard displays nearly all metrics using both a map (on the left) and a chart (on the right). The map scale and level of detail adjust depending on the data available. The color intensity of each map location reflects the relative value for that data set, with the color and value relationship shown in the legend in the lower left corner of the map. The chart shows historical trends for metrics with multi-year data, and highlights other relevant patterns for cases where multi-year data is either unavailable or not relevant.

Default view: By default, the Sustainability Dashboard displays the population of San Mateo County on a map with city boundaries. Each city is colored in a gradient of blue to represent population size. Next to the map, a chart displays population trends over time.

Search: Use the dropdown menus in the left panel to search by Topic, Metric, Geographic Scale (City, Census Tract, Zip Code, etc.) and Time Range. Once you are done with your research, click “Reset Search” and the screen will return to the default view.

Explore the data: Once you select a metric, you will see the value of the metric for each place (City, Census Tract, Zip Code, etc.) by hovering over the map. Select a place by clicking on it: Its border is highlighted as well as the corresponding line in the chart. Multiple places can be highlighted simultaneously to facilitate comparison among places. In the historical trend chart, the lines and marks are color-coded using the same criteria as the map.

Download: The currently displayed map and the corresponding chart can be downloaded by clicking on the “Download Image” button. To download the source data, click the “Download Data” button. We encourage you to share this data, but ask that you retain the Sustainable San Mateo County branding for proper attribution.

Caption: For each metric, an explanation and the original source from which the data was retrieved can be found in the left panel under the dropdown menus.

How does SSMC choose which metrics to provide?

Our Sustainability Dashboard presents a range of data categories that reflect our county’s sustainability. For every topic, we strive to provide metrics that facilitate analyzing the state of sustainability in individual cities and the County, monitoring progress, and identifying where more work is needed. In general, each metric meets the following criteria: it is available for a large part of San Mateo County; it shows historical trends; it is comparable across time and jurisdictions; it is reliable and transparent; it is updated at regular intervals; it can be displayed in our tool.

What is the data source?

We strive to include the most reliable and informative data sets for each topic. The main sources of data include the U.S. Census Bureau, California Energy Commission, Pacific Gas & Electric, California Department of Education, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Center for Disease Control, California Department of Housing and Community Development, CalRecycle, and the official website of each jurisdiction within San Mateo County. Sources are provided on the results page for each metric.

Why does the data span different years?

The data we present is sourced from a variety of providers, each with its own schedule for updating and releasing new information. The cadence at which data is updated can vary widely depending on the source’s capabilities, the nature of the data being collected, and logistical or regulatory considerations. As a result, some datasets may be more recently released than others.

For many metrics we use the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) 5-Year Data. The 5-year data compiles information collected over a five-year period. Since it aggregates five years of survey responses, it leads to more reliable estimates for small populations or geographic areas (populations of 65,000 or less). For smaller populations, 5-year data generally has a smaller margin of error compared to 1-year estimates due to the larger cumulative sample size. The most recent year’s data is combined with data from the previous four years.

About data granularity, what is the expected level of detail?

The granularity of our data varies significantly depending on the metric and its source, ranging from detailed levels such as individual cities and census tracts to the entire county. While many metrics allow for analysis at the finer city or census-tract levels, certain metrics are only available at the county level. When only county-level data is available, we examine San Mateo County in the context of the nine counties within the Bay Area and/or compare it to the California state average.

I have questions or feedback. Where can I send it?

Great! We encourage you to submit feedback about the Sustainability Dashboard and ideas for additional metrics. Please use our online form or send an email to