Overall quality of life in St. Lawrence County receives lowest positive rating since 2015, survey finds

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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — St. Lawrence County residents have agreed that the overall quality of life has decreased based on results of a recent survey.

The Center of Community Studies at Jefferson Community College released the findings of the 6th Annual St. Lawrence County Survey of the Community at a virtual St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators meeting on April 19, 2021. The survey determined attitudes and opinions of St. Lawrence County adult residents, collecting data on “quality-of-life” issues of importance and an annual “snapshot” of life in the county.

This survey has been completed by the Center for Community Studies each June from 2015 to 2019.

The 2020 survey studies seven total quality-of-life characteristics. According to the survey, four of he seven levels of positive responses mirrored results in the past five years.

However, “excellent or good” ratings of healthcare quality, quality of K-12 education and overall quality of life were the lowest reported since 2015 with 44%, 60% and 55% respectively. Additionally the two most negatively perceived indicators were economically focused with a 52% “poor” rating for the availability of good jobs and 40% poor rating for overall state of the local economy.

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey also asked participants satisfaction regarding efforts lead by local, state and the federal government. All satisfaction rates decreased for the response efforts lead by the U.S. Public Health and the CDC, Former President Donald Trump and the U.S. government and New York State Governor Cuomo ad the State Public Health Department. Satisfaction did increase however regarding the response to the pandemic lead by the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department.

Also concerning local and national optimism, St. Lawrence County residents stated that they are more optimistic about the “direction that things are heading” locally, but not as much nationally. The survey confirmed that 36% of respondents believe that things in the country are headed in the right direction.

Participating residents also indicated their personal financial situations. The survey determined that 61%of residents indicated that their personal financial situation has remained the same in the past year, 8% has improved and 31% indicated that their situation has gotten worse.

The study also determined the following regarding personal opionions on community and societal issues:

  • 70% of participants agree that “It is all right for adults to be romantically involved with other adults of the same sex.”
  • 68% of participants agree that “Choosing abortion is a woman’s right, and society should protect that right.”
  • 68% of participants agree that “Systemic racism and social injustice are major problems in our country that need to be addressed.” 
  • 67% of participants agree that “Healthcare is a societal responsibility and government should ensure that good healthcare is available to all people.”
  • 66% of participants agree that “Human contribution to climate change is pretty much a proven scientific conclusion.”
  • 60% of participants agree that “The Second Amendment of the US Constitution protects an individual’s right to own guns, and that should not be compromised by laws such as the NYS Safe Act.”
  • 57% of participants agree that “Overall I think President Trump is good for our country.”
  • 53% of participants agree that “To maintain and improve border security – our country should use other available technological methods and not build a physical wall along the entire US-Mexico border.”

The survey lead by the CCS at Jefferson Community College was lead through a mixed-mode sampling design. The Center completed a total of 453 interview of adult residents. The result of this sampling of a total of 435 county residents is an approximate margin of error of ±5.2% after weighting sample survey results toward St. Lawrence County population characteristics.

Similar studies were also completed by the Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College in both Jefferson and Lewis counties.

The full results from the 6th Annual St. Lawrence County Survey can be found on the Jefferson Community College website.

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