Monday, January 03, 2011

First Pennsylvania Civic Health Index

The National Conference on Citizenship, if you are not familiar with it:

measures, tracks and promotes civic participation across the U.S. Guided by our Congressional Charter and the values of NCOC, we commission and publish the annual Civic Health Index, a quantitative means for building program consensus and measuring success with the goal of strengthening citizenship in America. In addition we hold the Annual Conference on Citizenship that brings together leaders in the civic engagement field to set concrete and ambitious goals to promote a more active and involved citizenry.

This year they have published a Pennsylvania Civic Health Index. It was released the week before Christmas and therefore did not get a lot of press. Here are a few of their conclusions. Read the full report for details.
– If Pennsylvania needs a wake-up call that its residents need to be more active citizens, it just got it. The Commonwealth’s first ever Civic Health Index reveals that Pennsylvania’s civic health is suffering. This comprehensive assessment is the result of a partnership between the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) and the National Constitution Center.

The index studies voter participation rates as well as things such as how often people talk to their neighbors and eat together as a family. The full 20 page report shows that (good news!) Pennsylvanians read newspapers slightly more often than the national average but (bad news for me!) read blogs less often than the national average. We're also good at boycotting and protesting, and relating to each other.

The report breaks some data down into age and racial groups. The top recommendation is to increase educational attainment. Among others is to harness the interpersonal relationships into civic action.

Sounds good to me.

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