Prince George’s County, Md. has made large strides in several key areas over the past decade, according to an updated “quality of life” index released May 13 by a county business organization.

According to the updated Prince George’s County Quality of Life Index, a statistical account of the county’s progress in several data categories, burglaries and car thefts are down significantly and the county has succeeded in attracting more qualified teachers.

The index was released by The Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable, the “Voice of Business” in the county, and their affiliate, the Andrews Business & Community Alliance. Both are not-for- profit, non-partisan organizations whose activities include advocating for the businesses, communities and military presence in the county.

According to the group, the index “remains to tell you where the county stands today, but also to measure it against the past to ascertain whether or not progress is occurring.”

In attendance at a meeting to release the updated index, held at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro, were roundtable members and County Executive Rushern L. Baker III.

The index found that 90 percent of teachers in county schools were “highly qualified,” compared to 48.6 percent in 2004. Also, 75 percent of third grade students are reading at a proficient or advanced level, along with 77.1 percent of seventh graders.

Motor vehicle theft and burglary remained the county’s most common crimes, but both are on the decline. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, motor vehicle thefts fell to 3,184 last year from 16,332 motor vehicle thefts in 2004. There were 4,145 burglaries in the county last year, down from 6,429 in 2004.

Courtney Jacobs

AFRO Staff Writer