Quality of Life Indicators

It is also about the places you eat and shop, the schools your children attend and the scouting groups and soccer teams they are part of. Churches, parks, art galleries, and hospitals help define your community, but so does the crime rate, the voter turnout, the road, air, and water quality, and the responsiveness of local officials. Everything that matters to you and affects your day-to-day determines your community’s QUALITY OF LIFE.

Everything that matters to you about your community can most likely fit into one of seven categories, collectively known as Community Capitals. The seven Community Capitals are:

Financial Capital     •     Political Capital     •     Social Capital     •     Human Capital

Cultural Capital     •     Natural Capital     •     Built Capital


While economic development in a community is important, you cannot use it as the sole measure, or indicator, of your community’s quality of life. The problem is, it is perhaps the easiest component of quality of life to measure. With this guide, however, and the example reports on the UWEX CCED website, you, too, can use indicators from all components of quality of life to assess your community and help to move it forward.

What, then, are the components of each community capital, and what indicators can you use to measure them? Use this summary and the other documents below as a guide, but please feel encouraged to customize the indicators to your community. You will then be well on your way to completing a robust analysis of the Quality of Life in your community that measures culture, attractions, the economy, the environment, and more that contribute to making a community an attractive and vibrant place to live.


PDF, 14 pages
This is a 2014 powerpoint presentation discussing how quality of life indicators can be used as an economic development tool.


Kewaunee County Quality of Life Report

PDF, 41 pages

This 2012 Quality of Life Report for Kewaunee County incorporates a variety of measures that speak to the quality of life in the county.

PDF, 46 pages
This 2007 report summarized measurable quality of life indicators for the Madison, Wisconsin region.

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