Greater Seattle's First Ever Civic Health Index Shows We Are Civically Engaged

The Seattle City Club in conjunction with the National Conference on Citizenship has come up with some interesting statistics regarding local civic involvement in volunteering, group membership, communications via the internet, philanthropy and political engagement. As a region, Seattle fares well compared to national averages. The study found that the biggest determinate for the degree of civic activity is one's education level.

The following is their press release:


City Club is pleased to present greater Seattle’s first Civic Health Index measuring the strength of our community in:

  1. Volunteering
  2. Neighborliness
  3. Voting
  4. Belonging to Groups
  5. Philanthropy
  6. Political Voice

Civic Activity Greater Seattle US/National
Volunteering 35.7% 26.8%
Group Membership 46.8% 35.1%
Talking with Family & Friends via the internet 70.5% 53.6%
Contributing $25+ 60.3% 50.0%
Engaged in one or more non-electoral political act 40.2% 21.6%

We are proud to say that greater Seattle is one of the most civically engaged regions in the country, but our report suggests that this success can easily evaporate if we do not implement new strategies for engaging all citizens of greater Seattle. The findings and recommendations presented in the greater Seattle Civic Health Index will improve the civic health of our community in one or more of these categories.

College graduates are almost twice as likely as high school graduates to make a donation of $25 or more, volunteer, and attend a public meeting where issues are discussed.  But only 71% of King County high school students graduate and only about 40% attend college.   Making matters worse, Washington State is not living up to its constitutional mandate to provide adequate funding for its public schools, and consequently ranks 37th among states for awarding bachelors degrees.

The findings in our Civic Health Index point to the importance of high quality education – including civics education – and opportunities for community involvement for greater Seattle youth.

“Our strengths in political action, group leadership, internet connectedness, and non-electoral participation must be focused on restoring educational equity and excellence for all our children.

Our economic prosperity and the future of our civic vitality depend on it.” (21)


We have created three different ways for you to access greater Seattle’s Civic Health Index findings, recommendations, and conclusions.

  1. Full Report


  • · All findings and recommendations for improving civic health in greater Seattle in all 6 categories
  • · All conclusions reached concerning the civic health of our region

  1. Civic Health Index Executive Summary


  • · The Executive Summary and the recommendations for all six categories in a succinct four page document

  1. Civic Health Index PowerPoint

  • Use the PowerPoint as a visual tool to convey important findings and recommendations.


Request a CityClub discussion on Civic Health, customized for your group.  Please contact Lilah Steece.

Visit and share greater Seattle’s first ever Civic Health Index webpage:

How you can become further involved:

CityClub will be re-measuring the civic health of greater Seattle again in 2013 and our goal is to boost every metric documented in this report.  Please help us! The full Call to Action can be found at the conclusion of the Executive Summary, and more concisely at the end of the PowerPoint.  By outlining simple steps that all individuals and organizations can take, the Call to Action is a way for you to see a more prosperous Seattle.

Set a goal for how you and/or your organization can improve civic health in your community based on the detailed recommendations in the Civic Health Index and Executive Summary.  Expect great social and economic prosperity forSeattle when all citizens are involved with and connected to their community.


  1. Spread the word about the Civic Health Index to your constituents through your newsletters, meetings, or links toCityClub.
  2. Request a speaker to address your organization or speak at your event about the civic health of greater Seattleand how you can implement simple strategies to improve it.
  3. Keep track of any changes you have made or have seen and share them with us so they can be highlighted inCityClub events and media, and documented in the future report.
  4. Get involved in your community individually or with a group by following

even one of the recommendations mentioned in all three Civic Health Index tools.

To contact CityClub, call 206-682-7395 or email