The report was first created in 2000 by F.O.C.U.S., Central New York Technology Development Organization, United Way of Central New York, and Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce to educate and inform individuals about how the community was doing in various important areas.
Indicators were selected because they met the following criteria:
- The indicator measures something that can be changed by community effort;
- The information comes from a reliable source;
- The indicator is clear and understandable;
- Most people would agree whether the indicator should move up or down.
In 2005, F.O.C.U.S. partnered with the Community Benchmarks Program (CBP) at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University to update and expand the report. The report for 2011 was the result of the same alliance and is supported by the Central New York Community Foundation, which is partnering with the CBP, F.O.C.U.S. and other area organizations to continue the work by posting information on a website so the information can be fluid and up-to-date. The new website is called “CNYVitals.”