The Heritage Foundation has published its inaugural edition of what will be an annual Index on American culture and opportunity intended to track "key social and economic indicators to determine whether important indicators of opportunity in America are on the right track." From the Index:
The 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity tells how social and economic factors relate to the success of individuals, families, opportunity, and freedom. Through charts that track changes, and commentary that explains the trends, the Index shows the current state of some key features of American society and tells whether specific indicators are improving or getting off track.The Overview can be found here.
The Index tracks social and economic factors related to culture, poverty and dependence, and general opportunity in America. In order to monitor trends and measure our country’s progress, this report includes 31 indicators in three categories based on regularly updated national data:
- Cultural indicators, including data on family, religious practice, and civil society;
- Poverty and dependence indicators related to marriage and poverty, workforce participation, and welfare spending and participation; and
- General opportunity indicators, such as measures of education, jobs and wealth, and economic freedom.
Short story: America is on the 'wrong track' in 23 of the 31 indicators tracked by the Index across the topical areas of culture, poverty and dependence, and opportunity.