PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Most Rhode Islanders believe they’re struggling to meet their basic human needs, according to a report released Monday by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) and Brown University School of Public Health.

The 2022 RI Life Index reveals that inflation is taking its toll on Rhode Islanders, many of which are grappling with the overall cost of living.

This year’s overall score of 59 is four points lower than last year’s report and the lowest in the RI Life Index’s four-year history.

The goal of the RI Life Index is to examine Rhode Islanders’ perceptions of their quality of life. Each year, hundreds of Rhode Islanders are asked to complete a survey regarding various social determinants of health, such as housing affordability, economic situation, access to health care and food security.

This year, 2,003 Rhode Islanders completed surveys either in person, by phone or online.

The RI Life Index scores are based on a scale of 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating positive perceptions.

Most of those indicators trended downward this year, including cost of living and access to affordable housing, nutritious affordable food, job opportunities, health care, safety, quality education, youth programs and services for seniors.

Cost of living and housing affordability scored the lowest among the report’s indicators, while food security and racial equity scored the highest.

“Not surprisingly, Rhode Islanders are struggling with key factors that affect their health, such as cost of living and housing,” BCBSRI President and CEO Martha Wofford said. “By shining a light on gaps in basic needs … we can create a shared agenda with the community to address these gaps.”

Wofford said Blue Cross plans on tackling these concerns alongside the RI Life Index Coalition, “so that all Rhode Islanders regardless of skin color, zip code or language have access to affordable housing and healthy food and can live their healthiest life.”

“There is much to do,” Wofford added.