MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - A new, first of its kind report released Tuesday shows Georgians are lacking when it comes to civic health.
According to the Georgia Civic Health Index, the Peach State's rate of civic engagement is among the lowest in the nation. The study is based on four indicators: social connectedness, community involvement, political action, and confidence in institutions, like the media and public schools.
For example, the study shows Georgians like to talk about politics, but we rank low across the country when it comes to voter registration and voter turnout. Researchers hope this study will encourage everyone to get active in their communities..
"We really want to encourage people to take a stake in their community and engage themselves," Amir Farokhi, the executive director of GeorgiaForward, said. "It doesn't have to be political action, it can be community action, volunteering at a cleanup or volunteering for a political campaign or just writing a letter to your city council person or school board member."
The study says millennials—adults born after 1981—and people with limited education participate less in the community. Research shows communities with high civic health have lower unemployment rates and are more economically prosperous.
The report was written by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at UGA, Georgia Family Connection Partnership, GeorgiaForward, and the National Conference on Citizenship. It was funded by grants from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, the Knight Fund for the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, and the Knight Fund for the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley.
Click here to read a copy of the Georgia Civic Health Index.