In late 2019, AEI’s Daniel Cox, Karlyn Bowman, and Jacqueline Clemence conducted pair of identical surveys of the national adult public and adults living in the state of Indiana to explore the features and challenges of community and civic life.

In the report summarizing the results, Hopes and Challenges for Community and Civic Life: Perspectives from the Nation and Indiana, Cox and colleagues find that Hoosiers do believe their state is better than average when compared to other states on five dimensions: opportunities for people to get ahead, the friendliness of the people, the natural environment, access to quality health care, and the overall quality of life.

Along these same dimensions, non-Hoosiers also tend to view the state favorably, though Indiana is generally not viewed as being among the top 10 states in any one of these dimensions. And while Hoosiers clearly have pride in their state, fellow Midwesterners are more likely to say their local area is a good place to raise a family than Indiana respondents.

Indiana respondents also differ from Midwesterners and other Americans on how much education one needs to “get ahead in life,” with many Hoosiers (25%) believing a high school diploma to be sufficient. On other topics relevant to community and civic life, however, Hoosiers have attitudes and outlooks similar to other Americans. For example, Hoosiers and Americans more broadly value good public schools, feel generally connected to their neighborhoods, and express similar reluctance towards starting their own businesses.

Although the economic and public health circumstances of many Americans have changed dramatically since the community and civic life survey was administered, its findings still yield valuable insight that can aid in growing the state’s prosperity.

Read Hopes and Challenges for Community and Civic Life to learn more and sign-up for Indiana GPS Project Updates to receive more information on efforts to grow prosperity in our state.


Download PDF