OMAHA – Residents of the Omaha and Lincoln metro areas are generally optimistic about their future and the future of their communities according to a new report released today by the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) Center for Public Affairs Research (CPAR).
The 2014 Nebraska Metro Poll received nearly 1,150 survey responses across the seven Nebraska counties that comprise the Omaha and Lincoln metros to find out how citizens felt about their community, their overall well-being and their outlook on the future. The counties surveyed were: Cass, Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy, Saunders, Seward, and Washington.
The Nebraska Metro Poll, which was launched earlier this year, is designed to be a counterpart to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Nebraska Rural Poll, which has examined similar measures for the nonmetropolitan parts of the state for nearly 20 years.
Key findings in the initial report include:
- 44 percent of metro residents believed their community had changed for the better in the past year, which was nearly three times as high as the 15 percent who thought their community had become worse.
- More than half of the respondents indicated they were better off compared to five years ago, that they were better off than their parents when they were their age, and that they expected to be better off 10 years from now.
- Demographic characteristics had a strong impact on residents’ outlook, with 74 percent of residents under 40 expecting to be better off in 10 years compared to just 20 percent of those aged 65 or older, and 62 percent of those with at least a Bachelor’s degree being better off today than five years ago compared to just 33 percent of those with only a high school diploma.
- Most people disagreed with the notion that they were “powerless” to control their own lives (61 percent) or the future of their communities (70 percent).
David Drozd, researcher coordinator for the UNO CPAR and the report’s lead author, explained that the numbers differed along geographic lines as well.
“Lancaster County residents tended to rate the various aspects more positively,” he said. “Within Douglas County, residents of the northeast part of the county were quite optimistic on the future”.
The Nebraska Metro Poll was designed to ask the same questions as Nebraska Rural Poll so that comparisons could be made.
“We wanted to provide another tool for community leaders and citizens to understand how they can address local needs,” Drozd said. “It also provides researchers and decision makers with a more consistent way to compare the views of urban and rural communities.”
A full version of the report can be found online at CPAR’s website of www.unomaha.edu/cpar.
For questions about the report’s findings, please contact Drozd at 402.554.2132 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media inquiries, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129 or email@example.com.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.