This chapter outlines how an index measuring quality of life should be developed and then applies that work at the county level in the United States. The index we create is a unique and data‐driven approach to calculating quality of life. In the chapter, we explain the process that leads us to selecting our five indicators: public safety, health, economic development, infrastructure, and education. Each indicator breaks apart into subindicators. This chapter theoretically and statistically verifies our chosen indicators. First, we develop theoretical arguments explaining the connections between quality of life and our indicators. Then, we perform confirmatory factor analyses on our index to empirically verify our theoretical arguments for why each component should be included in the index. Further, we finally verify our theory and index using survey results. We use only publicly available data to facilitate replication by others. The results of our confirmatory factor analysis provide statistical evidence for our choice of indicators in measuring quality of life. Our findings indicate that those measuring quality of life must account for the roles of: public safety, health, economic development, infrastructure, and education. Most importantly, our results indicate that our index is a valid measure of quality of life.
Part of the book: Quality of Life and Quality of Working Life