Georgians less civic-minded?
A new report shows that Georgia communities exhibit lower levels of civic engagement than the national average. The Georgia Civic Health Index, sought to examine how the state’s residents participate in civic life—be it through voting, volunteering or interacting with family and friends—and what that means for Georgia. The study showed Georgia exhibits some of the lowest rates of civic engagement in the country, particularly in the millennial generation, or people born between 1981 and 2004. The state is about average in such civic health indicators as family and neighborhood interactions but is below the national average in measures like attending public meetings and voter turnout. The results of the study establish a benchmark for civic participation that government and community leaders can use to find ways of encouraging more engagement and measure progress over time. The consortium that produced the report—the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, GeorgiaForward, the Georgia Family Connection Partnership, the National Conference on Citizenship and a number of community foundations—plans to conduct annual citizen engagement analyses over the next several years to record improvements in participation. The full Georgia Civic Health Index report is available at http://www.cviog.uga.edu/pdf/free-downloads/georgia-civic-health-index.