Individuals who feel a sense of security, belonging, and trust in their community have better health than those who feel isolated or marginalized.
According to RWJF’s 2015 National Survey of Health Attitudes, which included a Sense of Community Index, 49% of adults reported a strong or moderate sense of membership in their communities, and 64% reported a strong or moderate emotional connection to their communities. Research shows that if people improve their feelings of belonging, trust, and security, they are likely to be healthier. When people feel a greater connection to their community, they are more inclined to take action to improve their own health and the health of others.
Valued Investment in Community Health
A key sign of community well-being is the value people place on—and how highly they prioritize—investments in health and well-being. Examples include investments in parks and improved accessibility for those with limited mobility.
In 2015, RWJF National Survey of Health Attitudes found that nearly 31% of Americans do not prioritize any investments in five key areas of community health and well-being: support for equal opportunities, healthy food, decent housing, alternative transportation options, and safe places for physical activity. An increase in the number of Americans who value these kinds of investments would support greater action, across sectors, to address the social and environmental factors that drive health and well-being.
ADULTS REPORTING WELL-BEING INVESTMENT AS TOP PRIORITY, BY NUMBER OF INVESTMENTS
ADULTS REPORTING WELL-BEING INVESTMENTS AS TOP PRIORITY, BY INVESTMENT
Percentage of people by race, who selected to not invest in any of these options for community health