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Old 08-06-2017, 05:14 PM
Location: Auburn, New York
1,775 posts, read 2,511,505 times
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I would like to live in a small city with low levels of income inequality and high levels of civic engagement, and I'm trying to draft a methodology that would help me come up with a short list of places to visit.

Here's what I'm thinking as of now:

1) Qualify "small city" within a particular MSA population range
2) Rank small cities by Gini coefficient
3) Keep only the bottom 20%
4) Qualify "civic engagement" according to various parameters
5) Rank remaining cities accordingly

I'm having trouble with Step 4. What kinds of data would shed light on how much a given city values civic engagement? And where would I find that data?

Feel free to respond with any other suggestions in terms of better ways of approaching this mini research project. Also feel free to offer any guesses in terms of what cities will come out on top.

I'll post my findings next Sunday, August 13th.
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Old 08-06-2017, 05:28 PM
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Maybe volunteer hours and voter participation?
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Old 08-06-2017, 06:05 PM
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Try this site that mostly invokes volunteerism:

Years ago I used another site that had sample polling and measurements on specific areas of civic engagement, including volunteerism and other quantifiable activities but also IIRC (maybe not?) Likert scales on how much one "trusts" one's neighbors. I know it was pretty broad, and if I can recall it again I'll help you out with a post.
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Old 08-06-2017, 06:13 PM
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Perhaps the number of community organizations available.

Also, ironically, if the source I'm viewing is right, the median household income between different groups in the current small city you are in have small gaps. I would post the information, but I've been told that it is a competing website.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 08-06-2017 at 06:23 PM..
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:32 PM
1,069 posts, read 738,964 times
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Imo anecdotal evidence would be the best way to go. Once you find your ideal small towns, start threads here or on reddit. But don't just ask people in the town, ask people in the state who can compare and contrast the towns within the state, and not just give you homer-style answers.

a lot of "civic engagement" is people having socials, bbq's, being neighborly, ease of starting conversation with strangers in supermarkets, helping people stranded by the side of the road, etc. Not easily quantifiable.
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