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With Social Capital Project, Sen. Lee Hopes to Measure America’s Coming Apart


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Between 1970 and today, Americans’ community ties have been in stark decline. The proportion of citizens living with a spouse plunged from 71 to 50 percent. Forty percent of all births are to single mothers, up from 11 percent. Fifty-five percent of American adults are members of churches or synagogues, down from almost 70 percent. We are more segregated by class and spend less time with our neighbors, friends, and coworkers than 50 years ago.
Measuring, then addressing, this coming apart is the goal of Sen. Mike Lee's (R., Utah.) Social Capital Project (SCP). Begun in May of this year, the project released its second full report last week. That analysis, along with others on topics like volunteering, aims to capture the often hard-to-quantify state of American community.
"There are all sorts of things here in Washington that we measure through the federal government to tell us how we’re doing and what the health of our country is: gross domestic product, we measure tax revenues coming in, we measure what we spend and where we spend it," Lee told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview. "Studying what's happening to institutions of civil society is important. The fact that it's difficult to quantify and measure doesn’t mean that it’s not important. We’re increasingly concluding that it is.":snip:

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