Community Context and Challenges

  • Despite high health and educational attainment, poverty is an issue—nearly half of the city’s population lives at or near the Federal Poverty Level, including nearly one third of Rexburg’s children.

  • Increased alcohol use and a rising suicide rate among teens has raised concerns about domestic violence, mental health, and substance use.

  • Because the tax-exempt LDS Church owns nearly half of local property, Rexburg has limited resources for addressing economic, social, and infrastructure concerns.

  • In keeping with the LDS emphasis on family, many students marry and have children while in school, increasing the financial burden on young households; students often take out loans and depend on federal assistance.

  • Graduates tend to leave Rexburg in search of higher-paying jobs, taking educational resources with them.

  • The pervasive influence of the LDS Church and its strict code of social norms make identifying and addressing some health concerns especially challenging.

Community Actions: A First Look

As Rexburg continues its rapid growth, leaders and stakeholders are working across sectors to build a healthier, safer community.

City officials are finding alternative approaches for financing longstanding economic development and infrastructure concerns. At the same time, a county-wide community coalition is implementing new programs to better support youth and families.

These baseline reports, created in 2016, track community programs and initiatives in their early stages and measure initial progress only. Future reports will provide more in-depth insights and analysis into this community's efforts to build a Culture of Health.

Going Forward: Questions for Consideration

The culture of Rexburg is deeply tied to its relationship with the LDS Church. As the city’s population expands, Rexburg residents are identifying new strategies for economic growth.

Additional surveillance, data and information gathering, analysis, and reporting will examine how Rexburg responds to lingering concerns, including:

  • What outreach efforts have community coalition members undertaken to reach the youth populations affected by bullying or drug use, and how does LDS affiliation affect willingness to seek or accept help?

  • What is the impact of community initiatives on crime, poverty, mental health, behavioral health, and substance abuse?

  • How will Rexburg continue to address poverty among a substantial portion of its population, especially in providing resources for its large student population?

  • How will Rexburg adjust to its growing population?

  • How will the LDS Church continue to shape the social and economic environment of Rexburg?