A report released at the Institute for Emerging Issues’ 30th Annual Emerging Issues Forum, Innovation Reconstructed, highlights the many ways North Carolinians are and are not engaged in their communities.
The new study, The 2015 North Carolina Civic Health Index, compared civic engagement activities – such as volunteering, voting, joining community groups, etc. – in all 50 states. NC State’s Institute of Emerging Issues co-produced the report with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC).
“This report highlights how we connect with people, organizations and institutions in our communities,” said Anita Brown-Graham, director of the Institute for Emerging Issues. The report emphasizes that high levels of community engagement help make communities vibrant in many ways, including economically. “Connections are critical to our ability to innovate, and innovation increasingly fuels our economic competitiveness.”
Some of the findings show:
-25% of North Carolinians participate in church, synagogue or mosque beyond simple service attendance (above national average of 19.4%)
-17.7% participate in school, neighborhood, or community groups or associations (above national average of 13.9%)
-53.3% donate $25 or more to charitable organizations (above national average of 50.1%)
-49% trust the media (below national average of 55%)
Other findings of note: Not all North Carolinians are equally engaged. Young adults, racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with lower incomes or lower educational attainment are less engaged. Veterans, by contrast, are typically more engaged.
“The Institute for Emerging Issues’ work is critical to the future of North Carolina. By releasing this report they are starting a conversation that can strengthen North Carolina’s civic life and economy,” said Ilir Zherka, executive Director of the National Conference on Citizenship. “North Carolina’s civic health is generally on par with national averages, but I know North Carolinians have the civic foundation and skills to be national civic engagement leaders.”
To encourage improvement of our stateås civic health, IEI will begin sharing the report findings and will work with businesses, civic groups, and other organizations across the state. Individuals wishing to learn more or get involved are invited to email [email protected].