Strong civic health is vital for a thriving democracy and social well-being. Quality of life is influenced profoundly by people’s engagement in their communities, their civic associations, their networks, and the characteristics of their neighborhoods. Political participation, volunteering, donating, and helping neighbors directly makes an impact in the community. The 2018 Austin Civic Health Index seeks to catalyze this conversation on civic health in the Greater Austin area.

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How to Read This Report

The RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the University of Texas at Austin conducts an Austin Area Community Survey as a core component of the Austin Area Sustainability Indicators ( The survey includes topics related to civic health, such as engagement in electoral and political processes, civic involvement, social connectedness, philanthropy, and volunteering. The survey findings reported here, unless noted otherwise, reflect responses from data collected in August 2018 for the Austin Area Community Survey. Even though the results presented in this issue brief are drawn from a scientifically rigorous sample of residents in the six-county Austin area, it is important to note that each data point has a small margin of error. Small numeric differences across groups of residents may not be statistically meaningful.