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NCoC and the Corporation for National and Community Service Produce First Civic Health Assessment

September 16, 2010
“The most powerful force in American democracy is the connection between and among citizens,” said David B. Smith, NCoC’s Executive Director.

The National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), founded in 1946 and chartered by Congress in 1953, is charged with the mission of advancing our nation's civic life. In accordance with this mission, NCoC has produced America's Civic Health Index for the last four years to measure the level of civic engagement and health of our nation's democracy. As a result of the passage of the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, this work is expanding through an annual Civic Health Assessment. The Civic Health Assessment measures America's civic habits across a wide range of indicators in an effort to strengthen citizen participation in their communities, states, and nation.

Here, NCoC presents its executive summary of the leading findings from the 2010 Civic Health Assessment, based on research conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2008 and 2009. This document supplements an issue brief jointly released with the Corporation for National and Community Service. The joint brief is titled ''Civic Life in America: Key Findings on the Civic Health of the Nation.''

Key Findings include:

  • In tough times, Americans are solving problems in their own communities.
  • The Internet is helping to advance civic participation in America.
  • Creating community impact doesn't happen in a vacuum–it's part of a reinforcing cycle. People who are involved in one area of community activity are more likely to be involved in others.
  • Demographics indicate that veterans are generally more involved in their communities and more likely to engage in most types of political behavior than non-veterans.

The NCoC Executive Summary, as well as the jointly-produced Issue Brief are available for download at http://NCoC.net/CivicHealth2010. For more on the data, and rankings of 50 states and 51 largest communities, visit Civic.Serve.gov

In order to localize this data, NCoC is working in partnership with 13 states and 4 cities to produce localized Civic Health Index reports. These publications will be released throughout the fall 2010.

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