The Census through the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is expanding the items that it asks about civic engagement and social capital.
On the November 2011 Current Population Survey (CPS) supplement, BLS will now ask about:
• Voting in local elections (such as mayor or school board)
• Frequency of using the internet to express opinions about political or community issues
• Frequency of communicating with family and friends
• Trust of neighbors
• Confidence in institutions (specifically corporations, the media and public schools)
These metrics will show up in the 2012 Civic Life in America report.
Many other measures of social capital and civic engagement are already being surveyed by BLS on the November supplement (more here), and BLS also asks on their September supplement metrics on volunteering, attendance at public meetings, and whether Americans have worked with neighbors to fix/improve something. The volunteering measures are reported by CNCS on the Volunteering in America website.
Read earlier post “Advances in social capital measurement“