Consisting of three adjoining California counties – San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced – the North San Joaquin Valley (NSJV) region has a population of more than 1.5 million residents. While it is noted for a large variety of agricultural products, most of the region’s population lives in its growing cities, including Stockton, Modesto, Merced, and Tracy. The NSJV is the intersection of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento Capital Region, and the South San Joaquin Valley Region, and the NSJV’s changing relationships with these regions distinguish it as a cohesive area and substantially define its economic future. The Index is focused on key elements that define the NSJV as a distinct region and the evolution of those elements. Therefore, the Index is organized into three broad themes: The Economy of the NSJV, the People and Society in the NSJV, and the NSJV as a Place.