Are you concerned about the rising rate of teen drug use? Do you know how much the marriage rate and church attendance have declined? Are you concerned that our cultural dependance on welfare programs like foodstamps has increased?
You can find information on these trends and more in Heritage’s 2017 Index of Culture and Opportunity, released yesterday. A cultural check-up on our nation, this annual report analyzes social and economic trends related to culture, poverty and dependence, and general opportunity in America. The report then explains what these changes mean for our society.
Jennifer Marshall, the Vice President of the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity and editor of the Index, addresses a few of these trends and their impact:
Family and faith have had an enormous impact in grounding and directing generation after generation through human history. It’s no wonder that the erosion of family and faith would inevitably lead to unsettling.
She explains that one reason Heritage releases this index is to shine a light on these often-ignored realities.
Most conversations about opportunity begin and end with economic indicators. But opportunity begins much earlier, much closer to home, much closer to the heart.
Beyond statistics, the Index provides detail and commentary that puts these trends into context. This is great insight whether you are talking with your friends and neighbors about the state of our culture or striving to take action to preserve our freedoms for the next generation. It is also designed to help policymakers obtain the data they need and focuses on the following topics:
- Marriage, family, and civil society;
- Welfare reform;
- Reduced spending;
- Economic growth; and
- The opportunity of individuals in a free society to improve their circumstances.
The Index of Culture and Opportunity, along with Heritage’s other indexes, the Index of Economic Freedom and the Index of U.S. Military Strength, perfectly rounds out Heritage’s mission by assessing America’s standing not only in economic and military strength, but social strength as well.
Watch several of the contributors talk about this year’s Index below:
How strong do you believe the American society is today? How important is it for our nation to maintain a strong society?