Note: Please visit our site for more information on the survey, including downloadable reports and results.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (New Haven, CT) January 18, 2013: DataHaven and a collaboration of community funders including The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and United Way of Greater New Haven today announced the results of their 2012 Community Wellbeing Survey, the largest survey of its kind ever conducted in the New Haven metropolitan area. 

Managed by DataHaven, the Siena College Research Institute survey involved interviews with 1,307 randomly-selected residents between September 4 and October 16, 2012 on topics such as government services, education, and urban planning, as well as individual questions about civic engagement, health, and family economics.

“Results from this survey show that we have much to celebrate,” according to Penny Canny, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Grantmaking & Strategy at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and President of the Board at DataHaven. “Four out of five respondents express personal satisfaction with the city or area where they live. We also have a strong foundation for further improvement, with a solid majority of residents giving time or money to local initiatives within the past year, believing that their personal economic circumstances will improve in coming years, and feeling their neighborhood is safe, trustworthy, and able to organize itself for change if needed.”

The Wellbeing Survey measures progress toward longstanding community priorities, including the need to ensure that children have the opportunity to succeed and to boost the financial security of families. Although the metropolitan area generally does well when compared to the national average on measures of health, income, and human capital (for example, with its Congressional District 3 ranking among the top 20% nationwide in the Measure of America’s Human Development Index), the Wellbeing Survey’s timely new data shows that many residents continue to face significant barriers to economic success, educational achievement, health, housing, and other critical aspects of life.

“As a scientific survey of our entire adult population, the Wellbeing Survey gives us a powerful tool to gauge the challenges facing our community, and will help guide our efforts to have greater impact," explained Jennifer Heath, Executive Vice President at United Way of Greater New Haven and a DataHaven Board member.

“For 20 years, DataHaven has been encouraging data sharing between local, state, and national programs. We believe that the information released today, and forthcoming analyses of the data, will be of great use to neighborhood groups and other initiatives that are collaborating to improve the quality of life in Greater New Haven,” noted Mark Abraham, Executive Director of DataHaven.

As an example, Abraham points out that the Wellbeing Survey has been simultaneously coordinated with a health survey of six lower-income neighborhoods within the City of New Haven, conducted this fall by the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE), a community-academic partnership based at the Yale University School of Public Health. CARE, the City of New Haven Health Department, Yale-New Haven Hospital, DataHaven, and other local organizations have formed a partnership to improve their understanding of health conditions within the region and take action to address disparities. Results from the CARE survey are expected in the coming weeks.

“Without common measures of where we stand, it is difficult for organizations to take collective action toward meeting community goals,” Dr. Canny of DataHaven said. “Addressing the disparities in wellbeing, where they exist, represents the greatest opportunity for us to boost the trajectory of our entire region. High levels of community engagement, in spite of the difficult conditions faced by many families, suggest that most residents are optimistic and willing to work on improving our region.”

Residents are encouraged to visit an interactive website to read more and provide feedback on the results.

CONTACT: Mark Abraham Executive Director Regional Data Cooperative for Greater New Haven, Inc. (DataHaven) 129 Church Street, Suite 605 New Haven, CT 06510 203-500-7059

About the Greater New Haven Community Wellbeing Survey The 2012 Community Wellbeing Survey, a project of DataHaven, is thought to be the largest survey of its type ever conducted in our area. Although many questions were derived from other national surveys to enable comparability, the project focused on collecting information on community wellbeing that is not available from any other public sources. The 20-minute telephone survey, conducted by the Siena Research Institute at Siena College in Loudonville, New York, involved landline and cell phone interviews with 1,307 randomly-selected households between September 4 and October 16, 2012. Researchers interviewed residents age 18 and over from within a group of 13 municipalities including the City of New Haven, its “inner ring” (East Haven, Hamden, and West Haven), and “outer ring” suburbs (Orange, Milford, North Haven, Guilford, Branford, North Branford, Madison, Woodbridge, Bethany). The data are representative of neighborhoods and diverse populations throughout Greater New Haven.  Survey respondents are anonymous and will never be identified. The survey carries an overall margin of error of +/- 2.7%. DataHaven currently provides over $25,000 worth of free technical assistance to local nonprofit organizations and community groups each year, and will work to accommodate public requests for information from the survey. Please visit the DataHaven website for more information.

About DataHaven DataHaven, an affiliate of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership in Washington, DC, was founded in 1992 as the Regional Data Cooperative to encourage information sharing and the stronger use of data within the public sector, including nonprofit organizations, researchers, and local residents. As a result of its relationships with the Connecticut Data Collaborative and other partners, DataHaven is managing an increasingly extensive array of community-level data from throughout the State about a wide variety of topics.

About the Siena Research Institute Founded in 1980, the Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research throughout the United States.  SRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information, please call Don Levy at 518-783-2901. ###