Report Card Gives Some Counties A’s, Others F’s

Posted On April 04, 2012

(Undated) – A new report from Ball State University hands out letter grades to Indiana’s counties.


BSU’s Center for Business and Economic Research released the Community Asset Inventory and Rankings on Tuesday. The report seeks to provide policy makers and residents within counties an objective, datafocused assessment of factors that influence quality of life and economic conditions.


Indiana’s 92 counties were graded on a curve, meaning an equal number of A and F grades are given, an equal number of B and D grades are given, and average performers receive C grades.


“It is clear from the research that issues such as efficient government, human capital and desirable health care outcomes appear to cluster in regions,” said CBER director Michael Hicks.


So how did the southeast Indiana five-county region’s report card look?


The report gives Dearborn and Ripley County each a B for the condition of their people – assessed by population growth, poverty rate, unemployment, and other factors. In the same category, Franklin, Ohio, and Switzerland counties each were given a C.


Dearborn, Ohio and Franklin counties got an A for Government Impact and Economy. Switzerland County was given a B while Ripley County was graded a C. The report considered government influences and economic conditions affect the likelihood that a business will settle in a community such as crime rate, effective tax rate, main street rate, and metropolitan development.


Dearborn County earned a B grade in three other categories: Human Capital Education; Human Capital Health; and Arts, Education, and Recreation.


Switzerland County was the only county to receive at least one F. The report flunked Switzerland in the same three categories Dearborn County received a B in.


“It is our hope that this index will be used as a frank self-assessment, and that without regard to individual grades, communities will use this report to motivate positive and lasting improvement in Indiana. The quality of local assets directly impacts individual communities’ — and Indiana’s — capacity to attract business investment and human capital,” Hick said.


The full Community Asset Inventory and Rankings report can be viewed online at http://asset.cberdata.org/.