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July 21, 2003

Area residents satisfied,
but more worried about economy

Full report

Capital Region residents overall are very satisfied with their quality of life and neighborhoods, but over the last year they’ve grown much more pessimistic about the region’s economic prospects, according to a survey by researchers at California State University, Sacramento.

The survey shows 84 percent of the region’s residents are satisfied with their quality of life. Even more, 90 percent, report being satisfied with their neighborhoods and 91 percent are satisfied with their current housing. And although they cite traffic as one of the region’s top public policy concerns, 79 percent are satisfied with their commute.

However, 61 percent predict the region is facing bad economic times during the next year. That’s a dramatic change from last year’s survey, in which 18 percent were pessimistic about the region’s economic future. Last year 72 percent predicted good economic times ahead, while this year just 32 percent made a positive prediction.

The findings are from the final report on the second “Annual Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality in the Sacramento Region.” It is the only annual survey specifically focused on quality of life issues in the Sacramento area. Residents were surveyed in the spring.

Selected parts of the survey were analyzed and made public earlier this year. They looked at such topics as the war in Iraq, affirmative action and the state budget.

Other new findings in the final report include:

  • Capital Region residents are generally not concerned about being victims of terrorist attacks (73 percent)
  • 35 percent want new anti-terrorism laws, up from 30 percent last year. But 53 percent are concerned the government will excessively restrict civil liberties with new anti-terrorism laws.
  • Just 8 percent would be willing to increase immigration, while 11 percent support extending the rights of immigrants
  • 89 percent want to decrease immigration or keep it at the present level.
  • 83 percent want to restrict immigrants’ rights or keep them at the present level.

The survey was carried out by CSUS sociology professor Amy Liu and more than 30 students at the University’s Institute for Social Research. They surveyed 996 randomly selected adults in Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado counties in the spring. The margin of error is 3 percent.

A copy of the full report and executive summary of the 2003 Annual Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality in the Sacramento Region are available at Additional media assistance is available from CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.

Full report


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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •