SJ-R: Quality-of-life survey finds good, bad in Sangamon County

In-Depth reporting on the Sangamon County Citizen Survey.

A new quality-of-life survey finds that although residents believe Sangamon County is a good place to raise and educate children, many worry about crime, aren’t confident in local elected officials and can’t afford to provide adequate housing, food or health care for their families.

The findings of the Sangamon County Citizen Survey, which are detailed in a 42-page report, offer a unique glimpse into the lives and attitudes of residents.

The results were compiled from 618 random telephone interviews — both land line and cell phone calls — conducted between March 7 and April 9. Respondents were asked 100 questions that covered nine broad topics, from culture and recreation to education and the environment.

“Sangamon County residents have very mixed attitudes toward the region,” said Ashley Kirzinger, director of the Survey Research Office for the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois Springfield. “There’s some things they rate really positively. There’s some things they’re really excited about. However, they want to see continued growth. … They are concerned about Sangamon County attracting new jobs and businesses.”

Kirzinger said the goal is to conduct the same survey every two years for the next 10 years to track changes in attitude or public opinion.

The project is a collaborative effort by the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, the United Way of Central Illinois and the Center for State Policy and Leadership.

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