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Civic engagement can be defined in various ways, but usually includes voting, volunteering and membership in community groups like neighborhood associations or recreational sports. Civic engagement, especially early in life, is associated with increased social capital, enhanced social network, greater wealth and educational achievement later in life, and overall better physical and mental health. Civic engagement also encourages community involvement in policy and decision-making, which can be used as one strategy to achieve health equity.

This guide provides an at-a-glance overview of key law and policy measures to facilitate increased civic engagement in communities.