New Data Shows Arizonans Are Less Content and Volunteer Less, Yet Want to Engage in Solutions

Highlighting gaps in civic health ahead of a critical election year

Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to bringing Arizonans together to create a stronger and brighter future for the state, releases new data highlighting Arizona’s need for improved civic engagement in partnership with the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at The Flinn Foundation.

As it stands, Arizona ranks as the fourth lowest state in the country for the number of residents who discuss politics with friends and family. Yet, according to the organization’s Gallup Arizona Survey, over 70% of Arizonans want civic engagement that solves problems and democracy that works for all. The recently updated Arizona Civic Health Progress Meter, including the Civic Participation Progress Meter and the Connected Communities Progress Meter, also reveals:

  • A decline from 2019 to 2021 in community connectedness across the state.
  • A significant decline in volunteerism, tracking with national trends.
  • A greater likelihood among Arizonans compared to peers across the country to leverage buying power as a sign of approval or disapproval for a product or company.
  • An increase in charitable giving between 2019 and 2021.
  • A continued low ranking for Arizona residents who spend time with neighbors discussing community issues.

Data included in the Arizona Civic Health Progress Meter, part of CFA’s Arizona Progress Meters established to track momentum toward The Arizona We Want, assess civic participation, connectedness of communities and more, to benchmark and inform engagement strategies, as communities that are more connected have been shown to be more economically resilient, policies are more responsive when community voices are heard, and participation in civic life correlates to a greater overall wellbeing for residents, according to the National Conference on Citizenship.

“We know that change and progress rely, in part, on civic engagement, and in Arizona, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to activate voters to achieve The Arizona We Want,” Dr. Sybil Francis, CFA’s Chair, President & CEO said. “The data from our updated Arizona Civic Health Progress Meter helps inform our work moving forward and we couldn’t have a more valuable partner in this effort than The Flinn Foundation.”

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