January 25th, 2022
This fifth edition of the Indiana Bar Foundation’s Indiana Civic Health Index (INCHI) takes stock of Indiana’s successes and shortcomings during the past decade and defines action steps to ensure Indiana becomes a national leader in civic health. In this latest INCHI we examine three election cycles – six elections during 10 years – and analyze trends during that time. The insights gained by examining Hoosiers’ participation in civic life from 2010 to the present will inform and inspire citizens and leaders alike to build a culture of civic engagement enhancing our economic, social, and political well-being.
Building on the recommendations outlined in the 2019 Indiana Civic Health Index, section one of the report details progress in advancing civic education in schools and promoting citizen participation in the election process, two goals that are profoundly intertwined. Studies show a consistent and robust relationship between school experiences with voting education and civic participation later in life.1 As cornerstones of representative democracy, civic education and participation are crucial to advancing our civic health.
The second section of the report continues the review of Indiana’s performance on an array of civic health indicators. Drawing on earlier analyses and incorporating the newest data, we examine ten years (2010-2020) of Indiana’s civic activity, identifying areas of strength as well as opportunities for improvement. We hope this unique overview will further stimulate discussion and inspire a renewed commitment to advancing our civic health. Strengthening Hoosiers’ civic health will require a concerted effort of all stakeholders interested in supporting citizen participation in its many forms; the result will be a more vibrant, successful, and engaged Indiana and nation.
IN THE NEWS:
“Civic Health Index report paints dreary forecast for Hoosiers” – The Statehouse File by Alexa Shrake
“Index released detailing civic engagement in Indiana” – NPR, Sydney Dauphinais
“Indiana still has better work to do in civic health” – The Indiana Lawyer