Voter Participation

Voter participation measures the proportion of voting eligible residents (i.e., over 18 years old, citizens, and, depending on the state, non-felons) who voted in the last election. Exercising the right to vote is a proxy for ties to and engagement with the larger community. Community engagement is linked to factors such as social support systems, which impact health outcomes. People involved in electoral participation have been found 22 percent less likely to report poor/fair health; conversely, where political engagement is low, studies show that people had 52 percent higher odds of reporting poor health. Posted as a Social Cohesion measure, voter participation is also tied to economic health, education, and health systems and public safety. Voter participation figures are commonly available through City or State election offices.

Neighborhoodsort descending Indicator Value Rank
Blackstone 65.9% 1
Charles 53.4% 10
College Hill 47.1% 15
Downtown 47.9% 13
Elmhurst 62.0% 3
Elmwood 47.1% 15
Federal Hill 44.2% 21
Fox Point 50.2% 12
Hartford 47.0% 17
Hope 63.4% 2
Lower South Providence 44.9% 19
Manton 50.5% 11
Mount Hope 57.2% 4
Mount Pleasant 55.1% 7
Olneyville 35.5% 25
Reservoir 55.8% 5
Silver Lake 45.4% 18
Smith Hill 41.3% 24
South Elmwood 55.6% 6
Upper South Providence 42.0% 23
Valley 43.7% 22
Wanskuck 47.7% 14
Washington Park 54.1% 9
Wayland 54.7% 8
West End 44.3% 20

Key Citations:
1. Cummins, S., M. Stafford, S. Macintyre, M. Marmot, and A. Ellaway. “Neighbourhood environment and its association with self-rated health: evidence from Scotland and England.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 59, no. 3 (March 2005): 207–213.
2. Kim, Daniel, and Ichiro Kawachi. “A multilevel analysis of key forms of community- and individual-level social capital as predictors of self-rated health in the United States.” Journal of Urban Health-Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine 83, no. 5 (September 2006): 813–826.
Stretch versions: The basic version of the voter participation data will be for precincts. The “stretch” version would be to geocode the addresses and create census-tract level indicators.