Connecting Youth and Strengthening Communities: The Data Behind Civic Engagement and Economic Opportunity

This report was published by Opportunity Nation 

This report examines the relationship between civic engagement and economic opportunity in the United States, in particular how volunteerism and group membership can build social capital for youth, promote upward mobility and contribute to a range of positive outcomes that benefit both the individual and the community. We hope to present a compelling case to employers, educational institutions and organizations that are considering volunteer or community service projects that such activities are not simply altruistic. They may also strengthen our economy and help young Americans gain the skills and experience they need to be successful.

For the first time, Opportunity Nation, with our research partner, Measure of America, explores civic engagement and economic opportunity through the lens of the Opportunity Index, a data-rich tool that measures a region’s capacity to expand opportunity to residents using 16 economic, educational and community factors. Each state is ranked and more than 3,100 counties are graded A-F annually based on how well these regions equip residents with the conditions they need to thrive.


Opportunity Nation. (2014). Connecting youth and strengthening communities: The data behind civic engagement and economic pportunity. Retrieved from

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