Season's Greetings!    

In a few short months, our team will unveil recommendations from the Thriving Communities, Thriving State project, an evaluation of what makes Indiana communities succeed. In looking at community success stories, we just published the project's latest report, the Community Vitality Index. This report aggregates various measures of well-being including income, education attainment, life expectancy, and obesity, and sorts them out for each county in Indiana. It is modeled after a similar national index conducted by the New York Times.

Below you'll see our annual Indiana Crash Facts report, which summarizes findings on various aspects of traffic collisions, such as alcohol-impaired crashes, motorcycles, trucks, and more.

I'm also happy to congratulate three Institute employees. Senior Policy Analyst Dona Sapp celebrates 20 years at Indiana University and Breanca Merritt, PhD, was recently promoted to a full-time Senior Research Analyst. And congratulations go to our colleague Troy Riggs, as he moves to serve the citizens of Indianapolis as Chief of Police.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the Institute as we continue to find ways to better Indiana. Have a happy holiday and thriving New Year.

R. Mark Lawrance
, Director

Our Work & Announcements
Community Vitality Index 
As part of the Thriving Communities, Thriving State project, the Institute created a Community Vitality Index that examines a variety of factors throughout Indiana, including educational attainment, unemployment rate, and life expectancy.

Senior Policy Analyst John Marron replicated a similar national index conducted by The New York Times in 2014. Pairing Indiana-specific data with the Thriving Communities urban, rural, and mid-sized community framework, Marron evaluated how community vitality is represented in those communities and in 11 regions around the state.

Joti Kaur, Graduate Research Assistant, helped create the Index.

Indiana Crash Facts Report
The Institute has released its annual Indiana Crash Facts Report, a series of Fact Sheets that summarize various aspects of traffic collisions, including alcohol-impaired crashes, children, motorcycles, trucks, dangerous driving, occupant protection, and young drivers.
Some of the findings include: 
  • In 2014, economic costs of motor vehicle collisions in Indiana approached $3.8 billion
  • January had the highest frequency of collisions among all months (11 percent of all 2014 collisions)
  • About 13 percent of fatal collisions involved a driver that was legally
  • Almost 4,000 collisions occurred in a work zone in 2014.
The Indiana Crash Facts Report is a collaboration with the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to analyze data from the Automated Reporting Information Exchange System database, which is maintained by the Indiana State Police.

The Institute previously released a summary of 2014 crash data in a series of Traffic Safety Fact Sheets and County Profiles.

Congrats Dona Sapp on 20 years at Indiana University
Dona Sapp, Senior Policy Analyst at the Institute, celebrated her 20-year anniversary with IU. Dona has worked at the Institute since 2000, assisting government agencies and nonprofit organizations with program evaluations, survey design, and analysis.

Breanca Merritt, PhD, New Senior Research Analyst

Breanca Merritt is now a full-time Senior Research Analyst with the Institute. She began as a Research Analyst for the Institute about one year ago. Breanca will continue working on research projects on a variety of issues relevant to nonprofits, policymakers, and other organizations.

Find out more about our team and ways we can help you with your research needs.

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The IU Public Policy Institute delivers unbiased research and data-driven, objective, expert analysis to help public, private and nonprofit sectors make important decisions that directly impact quality of life in Indiana and throughout the nation.





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The IU Public Policy Institute is a multidisciplinary research institute within the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.