Indiana counties receive grades based on quality of life in new study

Counties in Indiana are making the grades based on their quality of life, and the results may catch you by surprise.

Posted: Jun 12, 2019 2:36 PM
Updated: Jun 12, 2019 2:53 PM

MUNCIE, Ind. (WTTV)-- Counties in Indiana are making the grades based on their quality of life, and the results may catch you by surprise.

Researchers at Ball State University recently updated the Community Asset Inventory and Rankings (CAIR). This study distributes letter grades to all of Indiana’s 92 counties based on their quality of life and economic conditions. The study was last conducted in 2012 and the new results look at county conditions between 2012 and 2018.

Michael Hicks is the Director for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University. His team created this report because he says it’s critical to have unbiased data.

“It’s like a report card,” said Hicks, “We want communities to understand that you’re not just an overall A or an overall F, that you could be very good in some areas and very bad in others. That will give you an idea where your strength and weaknesses lie.”

The CAIR consists of ranking each county in seven different categories: People, Health of Human Capital/Workforce, Education of Human Capital/Workforce, Government Impact and Economy, Arts/Entertainment/Recreation, Changeable Public Amenities, and Static Public Amenities.

Graded on a curve, each category receives an equal number of A, B, D, and F grades. Average performers receive C grades.

“Everyone lives in the place they want to live. So, our perceptions on where we live might not be what the other 326 million Americans think about us. This data gives us a good idea on what other people might look at when they look at our community,” said Hicks.

Multiple factors like population growth, graduation rates, the overall well-being of residents, and the likeliness of a business settling into a community go into the grading system.

Sherry Riggin is a Commissioner for Delaware County. She says the rankings aren’t much of a surprise. Delaware county received a D+ in the people category due to its poverty rate and unemployment. The county also downgraded to a D in health.

“We know the D in our health because of our smoking,” said Riggin.

Glancing through the report grades vary. Counties like Boone, Hendricks, Bartholomew, and Hamilton rank high with A’s, where others like Marion, remain average.

“This data gives us a good idea on what other people might look at when they look at our community,” said Hicks, “No study is going to answer every question you have but this one outta make you think a lot more thoughtfully about what’s happening in your place.”

To view the complete list of county grades on quality of life, you can view the print report 2019 here.

Researchers also developed a housing barometer tool. It looks at county housing markets using home values and growth rates. Click here to visit the tool.

This story was orgionally posted on CBS4indy.com

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 35712

Reported Deaths: 2207
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10037594
Lake3806202
Allen174371
Cass15927
Elkhart143529
St. Joseph132035
Hamilton118094
Hendricks118074
Johnson1120110
Madison59761
Porter55329
Clark52841
Bartholomew52238
Howard43734
LaPorte43624
Tippecanoe4214
Shelby39822
Jackson3942
Delaware38740
Hancock34928
Floyd32140
Boone31835
Vanderburgh2902
Morgan28324
Noble25121
Montgomery24417
Clinton2401
White2389
Decatur23031
Grant22123
Dubois2053
Harrison19622
Henry18412
Vigo1758
Greene17125
Dearborn17021
Monroe17012
Warrick16728
Kosciusko1661
Lawrence16524
Marshall1472
Miami1411
Putnam1377
Orange13122
Jennings1314
Scott1223
Franklin1158
Ripley1086
LaGrange1022
Daviess9516
Carroll933
Steuben872
Wayne865
Wabash802
Fayette797
Newton7810
Jasper701
Jay530
Clay522
Washington511
Rush503
Randolph503
Fulton501
Pulaski490
Jefferson471
Whitley443
DeKalb431
Starke393
Sullivan371
Owen341
Perry340
Huntington342
Brown331
Benton320
Wells320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford240
Fountain222
Switzerland210
Spencer211
Adams201
Gibson182
Parke180
Posey160
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin120
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0175

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 123830

Reported Deaths: 5621
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook802043780
Lake8511315
DuPage7891383
Kane6518192
Will5704282
Winnebago235457
McHenry162878
St. Clair121089
Kankakee95951
Kendall82519
Rock Island69124
Champaign6617
Madison60064
Boone48117
DeKalb4356
Sangamon35329
Jackson29310
Peoria27311
Randolph2714
McLean22413
Ogle2143
Stephenson2105
Macon19519
Clinton18817
Union16813
LaSalle15714
Whiteside14413
Iroquois1334
Coles12816
Out of IL1201
Warren1180
Unassigned1050
Grundy1042
Jefferson10116
Knox1010
Monroe9712
McDonough9413
Lee821
Tazewell785
Cass740
Williamson712
Henry700
Pulaski560
Marion510
Jasper467
Macoupin462
Adams441
Perry420
Montgomery401
Vermilion401
Morgan391
Livingston362
Christian354
Jo Daviess320
Douglas280
Jersey241
Fayette213
Woodford212
Ford201
Menard200
Washington190
Mason180
Bureau171
Hancock171
Mercer170
Shelby161
Carroll152
Schuyler130
Alexander120
Bond121
Crawford120
Franklin120
Fulton120
Moultrie120
Clark110
Logan110
Piatt110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Johnson100
Wayne91
Henderson80
Effingham71
Massac70
Saline70
Greene60
Marshall50
Wabash50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
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