The Supreme Court of Indiana, Indiana University, the Indiana Bar Foundation, and the National Conference on Citizenship have released the 2015 Indiana Civic Health Index. The report reveals how Indiana residents engage in important civic activities such as voting, volunteering, and interacting with neighbors. This type of engagement is critical because it is linked to the economic and personal health of individuals and communities. Overall, the report finds Hoosiers have close family connections, but struggle to engage with neighbors or take many broader political actions. This report follows the 2011 Civic Health Index and shows an improvement across many civic life indicators compared to the previous report.
Click here to download the full 2015 Indiana Civic Health Index
Compared to the 50 states and DC, Indiana ranked among the highest when it came to frequently eating dinner with household members (3rd), seeing or hearing from family and friends frequently (4th), and having some or a great deal of confidence in corporations (8th). However, residents fared among the worst when comparing indicators such as voting in the 2012 election (38th), attending a public meeting (46th), or working with neighbors to fix or improve something in the community (47th).
“Indiana University, the Indiana Supreme Court, and the Indiana Bar Foundation are doing critical work by continuing a conversation about civic life that began with their 2011 report,” said Ilir Zherka, Executive Director, National Conference on Citizenship. “While this report reveals there are challenges for Indiana’s civic health around voting and working with neighbors, Hoosiers can take this data and use it to strengthen their state’s civic life.”
The report data was obtained primarily from the 2012 and 2013 U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Surveys on Voting, Volunteering, and Civic Engagement. The following are additional key findings from the report:
-Hoosiers volunteer and donate to charity at rates slightly above the national average. At 26.9%, volunteering is above the national average of 25.4%. Hoosiers give $25 or more to charity at a rate of 50.9% compared to the national average of 50.1%.
-Civic engagement is not consistent across Indiana communities. Urban Hoosiers show the strongest commitment to participating in school neighborhood, or community associations. Rural Hoosiers tend to have the highest confidence in public institutions including corporations, the media, and public schools. Suburban residents vote at the highest rates.
-65% of Hoosiers reported sometimes or often voting in local elections. This is higher than the national average of 59%.
-Reported Indiana voting rates were 39% for the 2010 mid-term congressional election and 59% for the 2012 Presidential Election.