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All Arkansans reach their full potential in communities that identify and promote supportive relationships and provide healthy, safe, and nurturing environments. and 1 more... less...

Outcome measures data should reflect what we are trying to achieve in our goal. However, population level outcomes may also be influenced by factors unrelated to the SHIP interventions.

Economic Hardship Index


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Data Description and Source

The  Economic Hardship Index is a comparison of state economic conditions based on crowded housing, dependency, education, income, poverty and unemployment; normalized index scores are 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating worse economic conditions

Source: America's Health Rankings



Story Behind the Curve

AR ranked 46th in 2019 with a score of 80. The economic hardship for Arkansans has been steadily increasing.

2017: 79

2018:  77

What data and source to use?




Why Is This Important?


The economic hardship index compares economic conditions between communities. The measure combines six population-level social and economic measures, providing a more comprehensive picture of the difficulties faced in a community than a single measure could provide. The measures include:

  • Unemployment: The proportion of the population ages 16 to 64 that are unemployed. Unemployment places financial stress on individuals and their family leading to community-wide impacts.
  • Dependency: The proportion of the population younger than age 18 or older than age 64. While having dependents can be a positive experience, there are also hardships associated with caring for them. Raising a child from birth to age 17 costs, on average, more than $233,000 and taking care of an aging parent can cost approximately $7,200 annually.
  • Education: The proportion of the population ages 25 and older without a high school degree. More education leads to better job prospects and higher income, though this can vary by other factors such as industry and geography.
  • Per capita income: The community’s per capita income is the average of the total income of a group divided by all the groups’ members (e.g., every man, woman and child). It is a measure that represents the relative wealth of the community.
  • Crowded housing: The proportion of housing units with more than one person per room. Housing with multiple occupants per room can negatively impact well-being and relationships, particularly for children.
  • Poverty: The proportion of the population that is below the poverty level. There is strong evidence linking poverty with adverse health outcomes.

A high score on the economic hardship index is associated with lower life expectancy. Lower incomes can lead to chronic stress. This stress contributes to poor health through decreased life expectancy, educational attainment and social mobility; it also contributes to increases in mental illness, obesity, infant mortality, teenage births, homicides and imprisonment.

Economic hardship and its indicators tend to be distributed geographically, reflecting pockets of hardship and the contrasting areas of concentrated wealth. American Indian/Alaska Native, Black and Hispanic adults are disproportionately affected by economic hardship. The effects of structural racism are evident in the higher rates of povertyunemploymentcrowded housing and lower per capita income among racial and ethnic minority groups.  

Clear Impact Suite is an easy-to-use, web-based software platform that helps your staff collaborate with external stakeholders and community partners by utilizing the combination of data collection, performance reporting, and program planning.

Scorecard Container Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy