Two-thirds of St. John’s-area residents love where they live — warts and all.
Research firm MQO with Cape Consulting — and local partner The Telegram — released Thursday the results of a comprehensive survey conducted in St. John’s, Moncton and Halifax over the past two weeks.
The survey asked 400 St. John’s-area residents dozens of questions in broad areas, including quality of life, health care, crime, the economy and municipal services, with answers broken down along demographic lines as well.
Asked to rate the quality of life in St. John’s from one (“very poor”) to 10 (“excellent”), 67 per cent of respondents gave the area a mark of eight or higher.
Generally speaking, MQO vice-president of research Corinne MacGillivray King said Thursday morning, the older the respondent, the more satisfied they appear to be, and women reported higher satisfaction levels than men.
While 77 per cent of respondents aged 55 and older ranked St. John’s quality of life an eight or higher, just 58 per cent of respondents aged 18 to 34 did.
Sixty-two per cent of men felt the area’s quality of life deserved top marks, while 71 per cent of women did.
The survey also compares responses from Moncton and Halifax. St. John’s residents’ satisfaction was not quite as strong as Monctonians’ — at 69 per cent — but higher than Haligonians’ 57 per cent.
Other results provide contrasts between local perceptions and personal realities.
While 52 per cent of respondents gave high marks to St. John’s vibrant economy, only 33 per cent responded similarly when asked to rate their own job prospects.
Just 38 per cent of residents rated their satisfaction with municipal services an eight or higher, with specific categories ranging from 47 per cent giving top marks to local police services, to 11 per cent satisfied with the city’s access to affordable housing.
King said the survey is meant to get some information on the municipalities in which the company operates.
“We typically do provincial survey work, we typically do regional work, and we thought, everybody wants to know what residents are thinking,” she said. “We live here. We have offices in Moncton and Halifax as well, so we have researchers there in those markets, so it was to kind of get a sense of those marketplaces.”
Nancy Healey, CEO of the St. John’s Board of Trade, which hosted the breakfast presentation by MQO and Cape Consulting, said she found the information fascinating, pointing to residents’ faith in the economy.
“We see that in the business community in general,” she said. “This is one of the first snapshots they’ve done here, so now we have some benchmarks as to where we look. It’s fascinating to see where we compare to other cities.”
Starting in Saturday’s paper, The Telegram will break down the numbers in a series of in-depth stories. Telegram managing editor Kerry Hann said the MetroView series will provide readers with a detailed and possibly eye-opening snapshot in time about life in and around St. John’s.
“MQO Research has provided an extensive survey that covers a wide range of topics related to living on the Northeast Avalon. The Telegram will be taking this data package and, through the MetroView series, will be breaking down the numbers to reflect what our community is all about.”
Everyone is witnessing the growth and development of the St. John’s region, Hann said.
“This package of newspaper and online features is aimed at exploring and uncovering changes in trends and attitudes related to the continued expansion and evolution of this place we call home.”