USU surveys Utahns in wellbeing survey

Students involved in the Utah Wellbeing Project Survey gather information from residents on their feelings about where they live.

If you are like most residents in Utah County you are happy and your well-being is in a good spot.

University of Utah Professor Courtney Flint and her students are involved with a five-year study, via scientific surveys, to determine the well-being of residents throughout Utah.

Cities may join or drop out from year to year from engaging in the surveys. This year Vineyard, Lehi, Santaquin, Spanish Fork and Saratoga Springs have signed on, according to Flint.

There are 30 cities in all participating in the Utah Wellbeing Project Survey this year, including Layton, Logan, South Ogden, Herriman, Vernal, Richfield and more.

In 2019, Flint conducted the public-intercept iPad surveys in 16 cities across nine counties.

“Surveys were conducted at a combination of venues including: grocery stores, Walmart stores, city offices, libraries and public events,” Flint said in a summary report.

The results show that 90.1% of Utah County residents are either “rather” or “very” happy.

Approximately the same percentage indicated they are happy with their surroundings including mountains, lakes, city parks, farmland, rivers and streams.

“This is a five-year study and data collection will continue in the future. We are currently meeting with city and county representatives to gather input on local well-being and reactions to preliminary survey findings,” Flint added.

While this study is targeted at the city scale, Flint said surveys are able to report county-level findings.

“In Utah County, we surveyed 355 people from 13 different cities. The cities we targeted for surveying were Lehi and Saratoga Springs. We also collected responses from individuals living in Alpine, American Fork, Cedar Valley, Eagle Mountain, Lindon, Mapleton, Orem, Pleasant Grove, Provo, Salem and Spanish Fork,” Flint explained.

“Utah communities are changing rapidly. Keeping a finger on the pulse of residents’ well-being and attitudes about community issues helps to promote sound planning and decision making to support the overall quality of life in Utah’s cities and towns,” Flint said.

Reports are shared annually with city leaders and planners.

The 2021 surveys rolled out in January and survey collection will continue through early spring. The survey reports will become available in late spring or early summer.

Flint and her team are anticipating other cities to join the survey through the spring, but invited individuals to participate.

The 2020 survey was conducted online between late January and mid-March, with each city’s survey open for approximately three weeks.

“These data describe well-being perspectives just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Flint indicated. “ ... All residents in the participating cities age 18 and older were encouraged to take the online Qualtrics survey.”

A total of 4,354 completed surveys were recorded during this effort.

In 2020, the average overall personal well-being score for all surveyed Utahns was 4.07 on a scale from 1 (very poor) to 5 (excellent).

Questions included rating and importance in 10 different domains or categories of well-being, perspectives on population growth and economic development in Utah cities, the influence of landscape features on well-being, various risks and assets in Utah cities, and an array of demographic characteristic questions, according to Flint.

“A number of cities added additional questions, particularly around the issue of housing,” Flint said.

This project benefits from the partnership with the Utah League of Cities and Towns which is helping cities envision ways to inform general planning processes with the data and findings from these well-being surveys.

Utah County cities with online information on surveys:

Vineyard’s well-being survey link is https://tinyurl.com/y6f2cjc2

  • Saratoga Springs well-being survey link is
  • Lehi’s well-being survey link is
  • Santaquin’s well-being survey link is
  • Spanish Fork’s well-being survey link is

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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