2024 National Findings Report: Creating Thriving Communities Through Civic Participation

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps' (CHR&R) 2024 National Findings Report highlights the importance of civic infrastructure and spaces to connect and be informed, with a focus on access to local news, broadband internet and public libraries. CHR&R calls attention to structural barriers like policies, laws and practices that can create obstacles to forms of participation such as voting and worker unionizing. Key findings include:

  1. The healthiest counties, where people live long and well, have well-resourced civic infrastructure, including a more accessible information environment (local news outlets, broadband access and public libraries), compared to counties among the least healthy. Counties with well-resourced civic infrastructure and accessible information environments also offer more social and economic opportunities for good health.
  2. Civic infrastructure, including accessibility of the information environment, is under-resourced among counties along the U.S.-Mexico Border, within the Black Belt Region and Appalachia and surrounding American Indian/Alaska Native tribal areas.
  3. Regions of our country that erect or reinforce structural barriers to civic health — or discriminatory policies and practices, such as laws that create obstacles to voting — limit participation in civic life. These structural barriers are more common in regions with specific histories of structural racism and disinvestment.

2024 National Findings Report