STATEWIDE — How is the quality of life in your county?
Ball State University has updated its Community Asset Inventory and Rankings (CAIR), which assesses the quality of life and economic conditions within each county in Indiana.
It’s based off multiple categories — people, health, education, economy, and arts, entertainment and Recreation.
Ball State Economist Michael Hicks says Marion County ranked high in some categories, and low in others.
“Marion County had an A in entertainment, and A in economic value,” Hicks said. “But, in terms of education, the county got an F. The school system remains troubled.”
Hicks says the counties around the state that ranked poorly in many categories seemed to have something in common.
“They tend to always struggle in human capitol,” he said. “So it’s really about schools. If you don’t have top-notch schools, you’re not going to attract people.”
Hicks added that specific areas continue to rank poorly in multiple categories, including the city of Muncie in Delaware County, Anderson in Madison County, Marion in Grant County, Terre Haute in Vigo County, and South Bend in St. Joseph County.
The smaller counties also struggled, like Randolph, Benton, Union, and Warren.
At the top of the lists was Hamilton County, which received A’s across the board, says Hicks.
“They proved that you don’t have to have mountains or beaches to be successful. It’s more than that.”
Other counties that saw the biggest improvement, according to Hicks, were Porter and Boone, along with the counties near Louisville, Kentucky, like Floyd County.