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Sacramento State News - California State University, Sacramento

August 18, 2006

Survey finds satisfaction among
Sacramento residents

Full Report

Sacramentans are generally happy with their lives, despite concerns about traffic, affordable housing, population growth, flood control and public education, according to the 2006 Sacramento State Annual Survey of the Region.

Fully 83 percent of Sacramento region residents are satisfied with their overall quality of life. And 59 percent of residents feel things in the Sacramento region are going in the right direction, compared with just 32 percent statewide. The majority of the people are also more optimistic about the future economic conditions of the region than the state as a whole (60 percent in Sacramento versus 42 percent in California). This pattern has held true since the annual survey first started in 2002.

The survey, conducted by Professor Amy Liu and her students through the University’s Institute for Social Research, showed that more than two-thirds of residents in the region (70 percent) view traffic congestion as a big problem. Population growth within the Sacramento region has also placed increased pressure on the public education system, which 46 percent of residents found to be a big problem, as well as affordable healthcare, which 41 percent found problematic.

The influx of Bay Area residents in search of affordable housing accounts for much of Sacramento’s growth, and many of the homes being built are in areas at risk of flooding. In addition, Hurricane Katrina fallout and Gov. Schwarzenegger’s state of emergency declaration for many of California’s levees have also increased public
concern about flooding over the past year. Flood control is seen as the second most important regional issue, after traffic congestion, with 54 percent of residents calling it a big problem.

Residents also indicated serious concerns about affordable housing (51 percent), population growth and development (45 percent) and air pollution (42 percent).

Other findings include:

  • Republicans are more likely to agree that things in the Sacramento region are going in the right direction (66 percent) versus Democrats (55 percent).
  • People who have lived in the region 20 or more years, people aged 41 and older, and residents of Sacramento and Placer County are more likely to report that traffic congestion is a major problem.
  • Homeownership status makes a major difference in perceptions on affordable housing. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of non-homeowners find affordable housing a big problem, while only 45 percent of homeowners think so.
  • Sacramento region residents are more concerned about population growth and development than other Californians (45 percent in the Sacramento region versus 27 percent in California).
  • Residents from Yolo (46 percent) or Sacramento (44 percent) County are more likely to view air pollution as a big problem than residents from Placer (33 percent) or El Dorado (37 percent) County.

The survey was a computer-assisted telephone interview of 1,122 randomly selected adults from Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado counties. It has a margin of error of 3 percent.

More information is available by contacting Liu at or (916) 278-7572.


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


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