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We all know that our economy is not what it used to be, but how do we know just how well it's doing? We hear the Jobs Report and watch the stock market, but how accurate and complete are these as measures of prosperity?
We also know that our families are not flourishing the way they once were. But do we know why? And is there a connection between the state of our economy and the state of our families?
For the first time since Dr. William J. Bennett’s landmark research on the Leading Cultural Indicators in the 1990s, we now have a way to use government data to score the economic and social wellbeing of families from year to year and from state to state.
In a dramatic leap forward, economists Wendy J. Warcholik, Ph.D., and J. Scott Moody, M.A., along with several state partners, has undertaken the Family Prosperity Initiative (FPI). The cornerstone of this project is the Family Prosperity Index, which demonstrates quantitatively the link between economic and social wellbeing.
As the Dow Jones Industrial Average measures the rise and fall of the stock market, the Family Prosperity Index measures the strength and prosperity of families – and the nation – by combining the most important social and economic data into a single number.
The FPI Index offers a more holistic and accurate picture of our economy by considering social factors that have economic impact in addition to those factors measured by the government. The Index fills in the gaps around other measures like the GDP, assembling all of the pieces of the prosperity puzzle into a complete picture of the economy.
The FPI Index provides the credible data that state policymakers, civic and religious leaders, think tanks and activists need in order to develop and advocate effectively for policies that improve the prosperity of families and the communities where they live.
With the Family Prosperity Index, we now have a tool that will give us a more powerful voice for positive change to restore our economy, our families and our nation to prosperity.
Posted by Dr. Wendy P. Warcholik - Jun 19, 2018, 6:09 PM
In the 2018 Family Prosperity Index (pdf), Idaho has the second top index score of 6.28. More specifically, among the six major indexes that make up the FPI, Idaho ranks in the top 10 in five of them: Demographics (3rd), Family Self-Sufficiency (6th), Family Structure (3rd), Family Culture (9th), and Family Health (3rd). In the Economics major index, Idaho ranks 13th.
Posted by Dr. Wendy P. Warcholik - May 31, 2018, 2:16 PM
In the 2018 Family Prosperity Index (pdf), New Mexico has the worst index score of 3.35. More specifically, among the six major indexes that make up the FPI, New Mexico ranks last in three of them: Family Self-Sufficiency, Family Structure, and Family Culture. New Mexico also does poorly on the remaining three major indexes: Economics (48th), Demographics (35th), and Family Health (44th).
Posted by Dr. Wendy P. Warcholik - May 23, 2018, 5:23 PM
In the 2018 Family Prosperity Index, Utah has the top index score of 7.37. In fact, it is not an understatement to say that Utah dominates the FPI, not only ranking in the top spot but also holding commanding leads over the second-ranked state (Idaho) and the national average. Clearly, Utah is on the right track for expanding family prosperity.
To be sure, investing in Indiana’s infrastructure is a laudable goal. Unfortunately, the proposed increase in the gas tax in HB 1002 would seriously hurt Indiana’s families, especially those of moderate- or low-income. In turn, this will negatively impact Indiana’s score in the Family Prosperity Index in the following ways.