This week, the Pensacola Young Professionals released their annual quality of life survey.
Washington, D.C.-based polling firm Mason-Dixon Polling Research conducted the survey in June. The survey, funded annually through a $28,000 grant by developers Quint and Rishy Studer, polled 800 registered Escambia County voters from a commercially available Florida State voter registration form.
The survey focuses on quality of life, showing how satisfied people are with various aspects of life in Pensacola and Escambia County, such as employment opportunities, confidence in local government, economic growth, education, and the environment. Among its main findings, the survey shows that overall Pensacolians and Escambia County residents are very satisfied with the quality of life within their communities: a total of 66% of respondents say they rate their quality of life as “good” or “excellent,” a nearly 20% increase in five years.
Some findings show a positive trend compared to previous years: for example, confidence in Escambia County residents’ job security has increased 16% in the past five years. More people than ever believe in the growth of the economy for the area, with 56% of residents stating they are confident in the vision for economic development, an 18% improvement from 2009.
“These are perceptions of the community and citizens,” said Jon Pytynia, VP of Community Development for PYP. “Whether or not that is the reality…this is what citizens perceive.”
The survey also reveals what areas deserve particular attention. The most noticeable disparity from past surveys was the perceived direction of the City of Pensacola, with 45% of respondents stating they are satisfied with the direction of the city. Relatedly, respondents are generally dissatisfied with the leadership of both the city council and mayor, with just 27% stating they are satisfied with the city council and 34% satisfied with the job performance of the Hayward administration.
Jonathan Thompson, past president of PYP, attempted to offer some speculation on the responses to the survey.
“This survey was conducted between June 22-28 and there were certainly some things going on in the media that may have influenced people’s responses,” Thompson said. “We’ll see if the numbers bounce back or if this part of a recognizable trend.”
Mayor Ashton Hayward recognized the results from the survey.
“I respect the data and obviously I want to improve on that data,” said Pensacola mayor Ashton Hayward. “It was a bit of a shock to me.”
Other areas of the survey focused on rating issues surrounding education, desirability of the local area to varying demographics, and varying factors of quality of life. The survey and data can be found below.
See the PYP QoL presentation here:
The reports can be seen in their entirety below: