civicness in the u.s. (by region)

it looks like this (sorry, i’ve only got the lower 48 here):

the lighter the shading the greater the civicness; the darker the shading, the least civicness.

heh. i’m going to enjoy this all weekend. the pacific northwest — where all those sanctimonious swpls live up there in portland and seattle — they are the LEAST civic people in the nation. heh!

mind you, the numbers for each of the regions are not all that different. americans are generally pretty civic-minded. here are the averages for all of the civic behaviors considered (listed separately below):

West North Central = 24.41%
New England = 23.54%
Rocky Mountain States = 23.31%
South Atlantic = 23.28%
East North Central = 22.38%
Mid-Atlantic States = 22.21%
West South Central = 20.63%
East South Central = 20.53%
California = 18.81%
Northwest = 16.39%

the data are taken from the world values survey 1999. i used the 1999 survey because it’s possible to break down the results by regions for that year. civicness, once again, is determined by membership or activity in various volunteer organizations. in other waves of the survey, the data is broken down by active and inactive membership; unfortunately, for 1999, it’s only broken down into member or non-member. so, all the figures you see here are the percentages of respondents who answered that they were, indeed, a member of such-and-such a volunteer group (including the elusive “other”). i used the same 1999 wave for my germany/poland post if you want to compare and contrast.

here are all the results for different volunteer group types broken down by u.s. region. the pacific northwest is only above the national average in three instances: professional group, labor union, and third world development/human rights. the first two are decidedly self-centered; the last one is, let’s face it, pretty trendy. most of the time, washington state and oregon are at the bottom of the list along with california. they’re even at the bottom of the political parties/groups category. waaaay at the bottom!

ok. here we go…

previously: civic societies and civic societies ii and “civicness” in germany and poland and civicness in poland – redux

(note: comments do not require an email. penguin alert!)

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19 Comments

  1. Would you believe it? South Atlantic leads the peace movement. It’s certainly not because it’s the trendiest place, That would be California at the other end of the list. Everybody keeps talking about how violent Blacks and the Scotch Irish are. Well maybe experience breeds aversion to violence.

    Reply

  2. RE “Civicness” in the northwest.
    Hmmm very true, unless you consider outdoor sports organizations ‘civic’ — the outdoors is a civic religion in the northwest.
    Washington had at one point, the lowest church attendance rate in the country. But it turns out that it was only because the evangelicals rely upon house-churches.
    But yes, it’s kind of oddly antisocial up here for some reason.

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  3. The Northwest story reminds me of an anecdote. My wife and I were touring up the Washington coast one summer a few years ago and stopped at a beach south of Seattle to walk around a bit, wet our toes. There were literally hundreds of Recreational Vehicles in the parking lot yet strangely the whole place looked deserted. There was not a soul on the beach except for four or five hippies under a giant tie-dyed parachute shade tent a mile down. It was a pretty day, windy, not cold, so on the way out I peaked in the window of one of the RV’s. Sure enough there were some people inside watching tv. I looked in a few more windows. Same story. One of the stranger scenes in my life.

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  4. Very apolitical. It’s as if US tipped slightly to its NW corner and all the unattached people slid into Oregon and Washington. It’s where Californians go to get away from other Californians. The interest in the third world or development probably comes from the hiking trip in Patagonia.

    Interesting.

    Reply

  5. It looks like the Rocky Mountains are a big divider. Flat, north and east of Rockies is civic. West of Rockies is less civic. I would bet there is also a division in the east, where the Appalachians from Georgia divide the less civic South from the more civic Atlantic states.

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  6. Are there any statistics about the portion of people who are blood donors, sign organ donor cards, and give to charities?

    Reply

    1. @hbdchick
      I just realized that this map reflects the distribution of males and females in the country.
      Males flock west for tech jobs.
      Women flock east for advertising and government jobs (and wallets).
      The numbers don’t really vary that much.
      But I think it’s a pretty close match.

      Reply

  7. @linton – “Would you believe it? South Atlantic leads the peace movement.”

    i was thinking that the peace movement is very 60s or 70s (isn’t it?). and then i was thinking that florida (part of the south atlantic region) has a lot of retirees … so i was wondering if that was the connection. lots of old hippies in the sunshine state maybe? (^_^)

    i dunno. maybe not.

    Reply

    1. @ hbd chick “i was thinking that the peace movement is very 60s or 70s (isn’t it?). and then i was thinking that florida (part of the south atlantic region) has a lot of retirees … so i was wondering if that was the connection. lots of old hippies in the sunshine state maybe?” It’s certainly a thought. Personally I haven’t run into any retired Hippies. I had assumed they went west.

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  8. @curt – “unless you consider outdoor sports organizations ‘civic’ — the outdoors is a civic religion in the northwest.”

    well, “sports/recreation” is one of the categories they asked about.

    @curt – “I just realized that this map reflects the distribution of males and females in the country. Males flock west for tech jobs. Women flock east for advertising and government jobs (and wallets).”

    i was thinking along the same lines, although not a male-female divide — that’s very clever! (^_^)

    i was just thinking about all the techies on the west coast. techies = geeks (often)= aspies. and aspies, by nature, are not all that social. it’s not usually the first thought of most people on the autistic spectrum — oooo, i know! let’s form a group! (~_^) (having said that, though, my father, who is much more autistic than i, has been a life-long member of the shriners, so you never can tell!)

    i’m planning on looking at the civicness of americans by race and age — i’ll throw in gender, too, to see what we see. unfortunately, i can’t look at, say, gender and region, dangit.

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  9. @luke – “One of the stranger scenes in my life.”

    bizarre! there wasn’t some sort of major sporting event on the boob tube, was there? i always like to go for a long drive (at the right time) on superbowl sunday, for instance, ’cause the streets are so empty. (~_^)

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  10. @linton – “Personally I haven’t run into any retired Hippies. I had assumed they went west.”

    you’re probably right. unfortunately, i couldn’t break down the world values survey data by state rather than by region. it would be interesting to know where, exactly, these peace-niks are. (^_^)

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  11. @bjk – “It looks like the Rocky Mountains are a big divider. Flat, north and east of Rockies is civic. West of Rockies is less civic. I would bet there is also a division in the east, where the Appalachians from Georgia divide the less civic South from the more civic Atlantic states.”

    like i said above, i wish i could break down this data by state rather than just by region — get some finer resolution. i have a hard time believing, for instance, that wisconsin is less civic than minnesota. maybe, but i doubt it. i’ll have to look for some “civicness” data elsewhere. maybe the gss?

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  12. @melykin – “Are there any statistics about the portion of people who are blood donors, sign organ donor cards, and give to charities?”

    i think that there is data for blood donors and donations to charities in the gss. i don’t think there is in the world values survey, but i should check the questions again — right now i’m not sure. i don’t know, either, if the gss data can be broken down by state/region. i’ll have to investigate! (^_^)

    Reply

    1. hbd chick The GSS once asked “How many of your grandparents were born in the US?” I was giddy with joy. If I could only chart that over time. But they only asked it a couple of years and then dropped it. Besides, I once could get data out of GSS but the last time I tried I couldn’t get anywhere. Too many neurons have taken the long walk.

      Reply

  13. @linton – “I’ve missed them ever since the runup to Desert Storm.”

    exactly! that’s why i was thinking that “peace movement” sounded very 60s or 70s. that was the trendy thing; today’s trendy thing, like bjk joked about above, is to pick some third world culture/society and feel very strongly about it. like tibet.

    for example, you may have seen in the news that one of the members of the band, the beastie boys, just died. i saw in the obits about him that he was a “tibet activist.”

    the whole tibet thing is gettin’ kinda old, though. i wonder where or what will be next? i guess there was that whole kony thing for a while, although that seems to have burned itself out already….

    Reply

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