College of Arts and Sciences

New Poll Data Shows Positive Outlook Among QC Residents

October 13, 2009

MOLINE, IL -- More than two-thirds of the residents of the Quad Cities report a "very positive" attitude about the quality of life in the region, according to a recent poll conducted by the Western Illinois University Survey Research Center, housed within the University's College of Arts and Sciences.

According to Center Director David Rohall, 66 percent of the individuals responding to the poll stated they believe that the quality life in the Quad Cities is the better than the rest of the nation. The study was conducted to assess QC residents' attitudes and concerns on a number of issues affecting the region, Rohall explained.

Rohall explained that a random sample of QC residents was used to obtain information through a questionnaire with input from representatives of leaders in the Quad-Cities region including representatives of the Bi-State Regional Commission, Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce, Quad Cities First and the cities of Moline, Rock Island and Bettendorf (IA), among others. A total of 530 residents – most hailing from Scott
(46 percent) and Rock Island (40 percent) counties -- were surveyed yielding a 33 percent response rate. Other respondents included residents of Henry and Mercer counties.

"The questionnaire was designed to ask individuals about their views about the most important issues in the development of the Quad Cities as a region and a series of questions about how the national economic downturn has affected residents, if at all," Rohall said. "Ninety-one percent indicated that they believe that the quality life will stay the same or get better in the next five years."

Quad Cities residents were also asked to indicate the top issues facing the region. The single most important set of issues facing the Quad Cities, according to the poll, relate to economic issues such as access to well-paying jobs and attracting more business to the area. More than 80 percent of respondents believe that access to parks and recreation, better air quality, transportation to and from the region and downtown revitalization are important in the development of the region.

"It's important to note that additional analysis showed that the majority of residents
(74 percent) indicated that they have been affected somehow by the national economic downturn. More than half indicated that they are buying fewer things now and going out less, while nearly 50 percent reported that they have lost at least some of their savings and/or investments in the last year," Rohall pointed out.

Almost one out of four residents polled (23 percent) indicated that they would like to pursue additional education. Most of these people are seeking either a bachelors-level degree (35 percent) or some sort of graduate degree (30 percent).

"The expansion of our Quad Cities campus, the wide variety of academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and the access to a high quality, affordable public education that WIU-Quad Cities provides, give residents of this region the chance to continue their education," noted Vice President for Quad Cities, Planning and Technology. "There is a need for public higher education in the Quad Cities and Western is poised to provide what the residents are asking for."

The Western Survey Research Center opened in 2004 under the College of Arts & Sciences at Western Illinois University. Its mission is to provide for the information needs of residents and businesses in the Western Illinois region seeking high-level academic research support. Their projects have included large-scale surveys of Illinois communities as well as program evaluations and focus groups for businesses and other organizations.

For more information, contact Gary Rowe of the WIU-QC campus at (309) 762-9481 or Rohall at (309) 298-1632.

Copy By: Darcie Shinberger, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606