Happy at Home

Sarasota County's 2021 Citizen Opinion Survey Results Are In

Population growth was a top stressor—but an overwhelming majority of residents praised Sarasota living.

By Kim Doleatto September 28, 2021

We love the quality of life here in Sarasota County, according to the responses in the  annual Sarasota County Citizen's Opinion Survey.

The survey, now in its 30th year, shows that 95 percent of respondents would recommend Sarasota County as a place to live and raise a family; 96 percent would recommend it as a place to retire; and 90 percent trust the county government.

Survey graph showing citizen satisfaction with living in Sarasota County

The survey compared 2021 findings with those 2019 and '20. 

Conducted through random calls to both landlines and cell phones, the survey asked 1,250 Sarasota County residents age 18 years and older about their satisfaction with county services and economic growth priorities. This year's survey also included questions about Covid-19 assistance and vaccination programs, surtax and whether homes used septic tanks.

Population growth and new development were the most important issue for residents, who also believe eco-tourism would be a good way to grow the economy as well as improve health and wellness.

Other outcomes showed that household finances are a prominent stressor, and residents have an unclear understanding of current county policies.

The survey was conducted by the University of South Florida on behalf of Sarasota County. The 2021 survey sample was controlled to ensure that it represented the county’s demographics, matching it to the U.S. Census Bureau for respondents' ages, genders, races/ethnicities, educations and geographic locations.

So what happens to the information? The Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners relies on it to provide data and historical trends to show a wide-lens view of the community, as well as to share insights into how to best serve residents. The results are also critical to helping the board set their priorities from year to year.

View the survey's results here and the executive summary here.

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