Defining your community is an important first step in planning and organising community action. Being able to define and describe the key characteristics of your community will allow you to understand the dynamics of your community, and to track changes over time.
There are two main factors to consider:
How would you describe your community within the natural landscape? How spread out or compact are your community members from each other or from the village/town centre? How do transport and accessibility affect community members?
2. Household demographics
What is the population like in the households within your community? Consider age structure, poverty/income, employment status, main employment categories or educational attainment. There are resources out there which can help you gather data on your community in terms of various demographics factors. These include the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, the Community Tool Box, and the UK Office for National Statistics.
Ross of Mull & Iona Community Plan, pages 4 – 8 provides a detailed overview of defined community which includes an overview of population, physical infrastructure, business, employment and the economy, culture and heritage, community facilities and social infrastructure, with a detailed section on each element.
Glenbarr Community Investment Plan Final Sept 2018, pages 1 – 2 provides a summary of defined community in terms of geography and population context (households, demographics, physical infrastructure, etc).