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Civic Health Index

An annual report that elevates the discussion of our nation’s civic health by measuring a wide variety of civic indicators, America’s Civic Health Index is in an effort to educate Americans about our civic life and to motivate citizens, leaders and policymakers to strengthen it. Among other things, the Civic Health Index measures such factors as engagement in public policy, charitable giving, volunteering, and online participation. Learn more at www.ncoc.net/CHI.

In 2006, the National Conference on Citizenship, in partnership with the Civic Health Index Indicators Working Group, launched “America’s Civic Health Index,” measuring civic trends over the last 30 years. In 2007, the Civic Health Index showed similar trends and focused on the attitudes and behaviors of a “civic core” of Americans. In 2008, the focus was on the timely theme of “Beyond the Vote” and geared findings towards ways to sustain engagement beyond an election (i.e. exploring public support for policies furthering community service and increasing civic education and testing phrases and messaging pertaining to civic health).

Focusing on the relationship between financial health and civic health, the 2009 Civic Health Index evaluated the impact economic and employment factors have play in effecting America’s civic participation, and was released on August 27.

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, signed by President Obama in April 2009, directed NCoC to work in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service on a Civic Health Assessment. The first co-produced assessment between NCoC and CNCS, “Civic Life in America: Key Findings on the Civic Health of the Nation” was released in September 2010.

The creation of America’s Civic Health Index and report is a cooperative effort of the NCoC, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University, and Harvard University’s Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America, as well as members of a Civic Health Index Working Group.

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