Civic Health and the Economy: Making the Connection

Posted by on November 11, 2013

Civic Health and the Economy: Making the Connection
2013 Issue Brief

Multiple studies over the past several years point to a compelling truth: there is a strong relationship between civic health and a thriving economy. This report attempts to weave together the most interesting studies into a story about how communities become healthier when more people are civically engaged.

Together with our partners, National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) has embarked on a journey to explore what role civic health can play in boosting the economic performance of our communities. That exploration culminated in two studies. In 2011, we examined the relationship between civic engagement and economic resilience, finding that five measures of civic engagement – attending meetings, helping neighbors, registering to vote, volunteering and voting – help protect communities against unemployment and contribute to overall economic resiliency. The subsequent study – released in 2012 – built upon the first. It found that communities with greater nonprofit density and stronger social cohesion were not hit as hard during the Great Recession.

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