RI Life Index; Presented in Partnership: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Brown School of Public Health

Health is more than healthcare

Health is so much more than what happens within the healthcare system. We know health outcomes do not rest solely on medical interventions, but also greatly depend on meeting basic human needs.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) and the Brown University School of Public Health are proud to present the fourth annual RI Life Index, which captures Rhode Islanders’ perceptions of social determinants of health and well-being. For BCBSRI, the Index serves as a driver of our mission to create access to high quality care for all Rhode Islanders. We believe the Index will help us to build healthier communities throughout Rhode Island. This is our long-term commitment. We must continue to listen, learn and act.

View our 2022 Launch Event

2023 CBO Scores

Key Findings

In 2023, we are able to report on trends based on three years of collected data. Since 2021, there have been increases in scores for the overall Index, perceptions of community life, children, job opportunities, and healthcare access.

In 2023, scores were relatively unchanged from 2022 scores, with CBO participants’ perceptions continuing to vary by language across the sample.

Of note is the 2023 cost-of-living score, which is low for all subgroups. For those who speak Spanish at home, however, the score was 7, the lowest ever reported on the Index.

RI Life Index

We show here a composite score of essential drivers of health and well-being as defined for the RI Life Index. The topic areas comprising the composite score focus on community life and quality of community elements, including affordable housing, quality education and good jobs. For all measures, we first display the scores from the Community Based Organization (CBO) survey conducted from July through October of 2023. You can also see scores broken down by the primary language of the survey participant. Clicking deeper, you can view three years of trends for the overall measure, as well as survey questions with specific responses.

55

RI Life Index
CBO Score

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Arabic  60

Cape Verdean Creole/Portuguese  39

Chinese 62

Dari 64

French 58

Haitian Creole 61

Hmong 56

Khmer 55

Kpelle  58

Lao 61

Spanish 71

Swahili 58

Ukrainian/Russian 58

Vietnamese 53

Summary: Perceptions of Community

The report begins at the widest point of the lens, with summaries of perceptions of community that incorporate a range of social determinants of health, and quickly moves into a breakdown of those key factors. For all core measures, we first display the scores from the Community Based Organization (CBO) survey conducted from July through October of 2023. You can also see scores broken down by the primary language of the survey participant. Clicking deeper, you can view three years of trends for the overall measure, as well as survey questions with specific responses.

49

Quality of
Community
CBO Score

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Arabic 53

Cape Verdean Creole/Portuguese 35

Chinese 54

Dari 55

French 53

Haitian Creole 53

Hmong 44

Khmer 51

Kpelle 53

Lao 59

Spanish 63

Swahili 52

Ukrainian/Russian 52

Vietnamese 48

63

Community
Life
CBO Score

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Arabic  70

Cape Verdean Creole/Portuguese  44

Chinese 72

Dari 76

French 64

Haitian Creole 71

Hmong 71

Khmer 61

Kpelle  65

Lao 63

Spanish 83

Swahili 66

Ukrainian/Russian 66

Vietnamese 59

Perceptions of Community: Vulnerable Residents

Here we show perceptions of Rhode Island's most vulnerable residents. For all core measures, we first display the scores from the Community Based Organization (CBO) survey conducted from July through October of 2023. You can also see scores broken down by the primary language of the survey participant. Clicking deeper, you can view three years of trends for the overall measure, as well as survey questions with specific responses.

66

Children
CBO Score

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Arabic  75

Cape Verdean Creole/Portuguese  49

Chinese 67

Dari 80

French 64

Haitian Creole 77

Hmong 61

Khmer 63

Kpelle  69

Lao 69

Spanish 86

Swahili 68

Ukrainian/Russian 68

Vietnamese 65

62

Older Adults
CBO Score

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Arabic  74

Cape Verdean Creole/Portuguese  48

Chinese 55

Dari 59

French 64

Haitian Creole 62

Hmong 48

Khmer 63

Kpelle  67

Lao 77

Spanish 87

Swahili 62

Ukrainian/Russian 65

Vietnamese 53

Perceptions of Community: Social Determinants of Health

Here we show perceptions of specific social determinants of health. For all core measures, we first display the scores from the Community Based Organization (CBO) survey conducted from July through October of 2023. You can also see scores broken down by the primary language of the survey participant. Clicking deeper, you can view three years of trends for the overall measure, as well as survey questions with specific responses.

18

Cost of
Living

CBO Score

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Arabic  19

Cape Verdean Creole/Portuguese  14

Chinese 30

Dari 20

French 23

Haitian Creole 27

Hmong 16

Khmer 20

Kpelle  27

Lao 25

Spanish 7

Swahili 25

Ukrainian/Russian 15

Vietnamese 25

67

Healthcare
Access

CBO Score

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Arabic  78

Cape Verdean Creole/Portuguese  53

Chinese 68

Dari 79

French 66

Haitian Creole 67

Hmong 68

Khmer 67

Kpelle  69

Lao 65

Spanish 85

Swahili 66

Ukrainian/Russian 72

Vietnamese 66

31

Affordable
Housing

CBO Score

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Arabic  30

Cape Verdean Creole/Portuguese  22

Chinese 40

Dari 37

French 42

Haitian Creole 40

Hmong 24

Khmer 29

Kpelle  36

Lao 28

Spanish 34

Swahili 34

Ukrainian/Russian 29

Vietnamese 42

54

Job
Opportunities

CBO Score

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Arabic  56

Cape Verdean Creole/Portuguese  30

Chinese 68

Dari 68

French 61

Haitian Creole 63

Hmong 65

Khmer 57

Kpelle  55

Lao 58

Spanish 76

Swahili 63

Ukrainian/Russian 55

Vietnamese 48

61

Access to
Nutritious
Food

CBO Score

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Arabic  54

Cape Verdean Creole/Portuguese  33

Chinese 81

Dari 84

French 67

Haitian Creole 62

Hmong 79

Khmer 67

Kpelle  56

Lao 65

Spanish 82

Swahili 65

Ukrainian/Russian 81

Vietnamese 64

Actual Experiences

Here we show data on the actual experiences of respondents with regard to their economic situation, food security, access to technology, and racial equity. For all core measures, we first display the scores from the Community Based Organization (CBO) survey conducted from July through October of 2023. You can also see scores broken down by the primary language of the survey participant. Clicking deeper, you can view three years of trends for the overall measure, as well as survey questions with specific responses.

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Food
Security

CBO Score

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Arabic  70

Cape Verdean Creole/Portuguese  55

Chinese 92

Dari 71

French 37

Haitian Creole 43

Hmong 93

Khmer 60

Kpelle  50

Lao 61

Spanish 66

Swahili 68

Ukrainian/Russian 80

Vietnamese 56

Special Topics

Here you will see findings from this year’s special topics, reported as percentages rather than POP scores. 

Confidence in Accessing Mental Health Care 

DEFINITION
If you or a close friend or family member needed mental health care, how confident are you that you would know how to go about getting that care?
(Percent responding Somewhat or Very Confident)

47%

(27% SOMEWHAT;
20% VERY)

Core City: 42%
(23% SOMEWHAT; 18% VERY)

Non-Core City: 56%
(34% SOMEWHAT; 22% VERY)

Speaks English well: 57%
(34% SOMEWHAT; 22% VERY) 

Does not speak English well: 34%
(18% SOMEWHAT; 16% VERY) 

DEFINITION
Now thinking about the children less than 18 in your life: If they needed mental health care, how confident are you that you would know how to go about getting them care? (Percent responding Somewhat or Very Confident)

56%

(26% SOMEWHAT;
31% VERY)

Core City: 52%
(26% SOMEWHAT; 26% VERY)

Non-Core City: 66%
(25% SOMEWHAT; 41% VERY)

Speaks English well: 63%
(29% SOMEWHAT; 34% VERY) 

Does not speak English well: 47%
(21% SOMEWHAT; 26% VERY) 

Characteristics of the CBO Sample

Sixty-five percent of respondents live in a core city. Approximately one in ten (16%) reported living alone; 54% lived in households with at least one child under the age of 18. Two-thirds of survey participants (63%) identified as female. Approximately half (53%) were aged 18 to 49. Fifty-five percent reported having a high school education or less. Forty-seven percent had a household income of less than $25,000. Seventeen percent indicated they were living in a household in which at least one person had a disability. Thirteen percent indicated they do not speak English at all and 30% indicated they speak English, but not well.

Core vs. Non-Core

# of people in household

1: 16

2: 19

3+: 65

# of children
<18 in household

0: 45

1: 23

2+: 31

Gender

Female: 63

Make: 36

Age

18-34: 23

35-49: 30

50-64: 23

 65+: 22

Education

 High school or less: 55

Some college:19

 Bachelors or higher: 24

Income

 <$25K: 47

 $25K-$49K: 26

 $50K-$99K: 12

 >$100K: 5

How well
do you speak
English

 Very well: 24

Well: 32

 Not well: 30

 Not at all: 13

Someone in household has
a disability

Yes: 17

No: 82

Language Spoken

Note: Percentages may not total to 100% due to rounding and/or missing data.