Ball State University's Center for Business and Economic Research is a federally designated state data center.  In addition to our economic forecasting events and in-depth economic analysis, we also produce a suite of free, publicly available web tools.  Browse the CBER Data Center by visiting or see below for more information.

Data Resources

Economic Indicators ( 

View regularly updated data sets from primary sources for the U.S., Indiana, and Indiana's metro areas.  Update notifications are available through the Indiana Business Bulletin and Twitter.

Indiana County Profiles ( 

Access county-level information including demographics, education, health, and social capital.  The site also includes the Economic Impact Calculator, a tool that estimates the direct and indirect effects of the introduction of a new business to a county.  Produced in collaboration with the Center for Community Economic Development.

Brownfield Grant Writers' Tool ( 

Created for the special needs of grant writers, this site offers county-level information including demographics, education, health, and social capital. Includes information about tax increment financing (TIF) and the Economic Impact Calculator for estimating the economic and fiscal effects of new business development.

Products for Analysis and Perspective

Community Readiness Initiative ( 

In collaboration with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and the Indiana Communities Institute (Ball State), the Community Readiness Initiative is a low-cost, high-impact approach to plan for sustainable economic and community growth in the 21st century.

Indiana Community Asset Inventory and Rankings ( 

This report provides an objective, data-focused assessment of the factors that influence the quality of life and the economic conditions within each county.  Produced in collaboration with the Center for Community Economic Development.

Manufacturing and Logistics Report ( 

Produced for Conexus Indiana, this annual report grades state performance on a number of factors that affect the health of the manufacturing industry.

Weekly Commentary ( 

Ball State economist Michael J. Hicks delivers his personal perspective on current issues in business, government, and society.  His weekly commentary is distributed through the Indianapolis Business Journal, the Associated Press newswire, and the Indiana Business Bulletin, among other news outlets.

Projects and Publications Library (

View an archive of the publicly available work produced by Ball State CBER.


Economic Impact Calculator ( 

Estimate how a new business may affect the economy in a given Indiana county.

Tax Savings Calculator ( 

Thinking of moving from Illinois to Indiana?  Compare daily living costs at the county level.

Cost of Living Index (outside site)

Joining a nationwide network of researchers sponsored by The Council for Community and Economic Research, Ball State CBER gathers data on more than 100 different consumption items each quarter—the cost of common items such as a gallon of milk or a carton of eggs. The resulting data provide a nationwide cost of living index, which is used to compare Muncie, Ind., with more than 250 communities across the country.


Labor Market Forecasts

Projections of economic activity in Indiana are difficult to obtain and often focus on a few top level variables. Our labor market forecasts are designed to project employment, wages, job turnovers, and other labor market factors for Indiana’s labor markets.