OMAHA – An analysis of survey data by researchers at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) shows that residents of larger Nebraska communities, especially Omaha and Lincoln, are more positive about their communities than residents of smaller communities.
The report, which released today by the UNO Center for Public Affairs Research, analyzes aspects related to communities in the 2014 Nebraska Metro and Rural Polls. The findings show that those from larger communities are more positive about how their community had changed in the past year and more optimistic about the future of their communities.
Published by UNO this past December, the 2014 Nebraska Metro Poll received nearly 1,150 survey responses across the seven Nebraska counties that comprise the Omaha and Lincoln metro areas to find out how citizens felt about their community and their outlooks for the future. The results from this survey are directly comparable to results obtained in the 2014 University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Nebraska Rural Poll, which received nearly 2,000 responses using a similar questionnaire and methods to poll rural Nebraskans from the 86 counties not part of the Omaha or Lincoln metros on the same topics.
Key findings from the research brief include:
- 44 percent of Lincoln and Omaha residents believed their community had changed for the better in the past year, the best rating among all sizes of Nebraska communities.
- Residents of communities with less than 500 people were most likely to believe that their community had changed for the worse in the last year (27 percent) and least likely to believe that their community would be a better place in 10 years (16 percent), indicating residents of the smallest rural communities do not predict that their current situation will improve.
-Nebraskans from Lincoln and Omaha were least likely to report that their community will be a worse place to live in 10 years (only 18 percent).
-The difference between positive and negative ratings of recent change and future outlook increased or became more favorable with each larger community size, possibly due to the increased resources, jobs and services available in larger towns and how they positively impact the views of local residents.
- Demographic characteristics are tied to respondents’ views of their community in the past year and next 10 years. In Metro and Rural Nebraska, higher education levels, higher income and being under age 40 are related to having a more positive view about community change in the past year. Across Nebraska, those with more education, higher incomes, and who have not ever been married were more positive in their future outlook.
“It is clear that community size had a definite impact on the views of the current local situation as well as outlook on the future, with larger places being more positive,” said David Drozd, Research Coordinator for the Center for Public Affairs Research and organizer of the Metro Poll. “The consistent nature of how perceptions improved for each larger community size are a key takeaway from this analysis,” he concluded.
A full version of the research brief 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.