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2017 Indiana Civic Health Index Released

Disparity in Higher Education, Voting

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana improved in residents’ participation in activities associated with healthy communities and healthy families in the 2017 Indiana Civic Health Index (INCHI) released Tuesday, October 24, 2017.

Voter turnout, however, remained unchanged.

Voter turnout in presidential election years continues to trail national figures, however Indiana’s numbers are not significantly lower than the national trends in voting. What remains significant is the disparity among those with higher education who vote and those without a four-year degree who do not vote. For example, the report shows that:

“In Indiana, 80 percent of eligible voters with a bachelor’s degree or higher turned out in the 2016 Presidential Election, compared to 23.1% of voters with less than a high school diploma.”

There was a 13 percent difference in voting between those with “some college” and those with a four-year degree or higher. Only a six percent difference in voting existed between suburban and rural voting, but an eight percent difference existed between urban and suburban voting. 

One bright spot was Indiana rose from 17th in 2010 to third in the nation in “dining frequently” with a family member.

2017 is the third release of the INCHI by the Indiana Bar Foundation and its partners the Indiana Supreme Court, National Conference on Citizenship, the Indiana University Center on Representative Government, Indiana University Northwest, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the Indiana University Center for Civic Literacy.

The first Indiana Civic Health indexes were previously published in 2011 and 2015. This updated publication shows a longer period for analysis of the importance of education and the increase in civic participation as education levels increase.

The full report is available here. For more information contact the Indiana Bar Foundation Executive Director Charles Dunlap at 317-269-7861 or

The Indiana Bar Foundation seeks to strengthen appreciation for the rule of law through civic education for all Hoosiers. Find more about the Foundation at

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