The 2015 Sangamon County Citizen Survey indicates residents are generally in good health, with access to health care. 96% report having health insurance. That's up about 7% from the last survey in 2013 and is a potential result of the federal health care law.
Fewer residents also say they are pessimistic about their personal finances, from 21% in 2013 to 13% now.
Education in the county, both public and private, got good marks. More also say the county has strong leadership.
So why do the overall numbers show fewer positive ratings for life in Sangamon County?
"We find a higher percentage of residents find Sangamon County to be a poor place to retire, work, raise children and live than did in the 2013 survey" said Ashley Kirzinger, Director of the Survey Research Office at the University of Illinois Springfield. Her office conducted the survey of 576 people on both land line and cellular telephones this spring.
"I think it translates to the fuzzy atmosphere that seems to be surrounding Sangamon County and Springfield especially. The state financial situation is still uncertain. People know that might translate into cuts in services or cuts in jobs."
"These tangible things like money in their pocket. Those things are positive. Yet they're not sure how that will translate to the county in general," she said.
Older residents are more likely to rate the county as a poor place to retire than younger folks.
When it comes to social well-being, 64% say race relations are "very good" or "fairly good", well above national results during the same time period.
86% also say a growing downtown Springfield is "very important" or "somewhat important" to Sangamon County. African Americans are slightly more favorable on this topic.
Read the full survey here.
The survey is a collaborative project between the University of Illinois Springfield's Center for State Policy and Leadership, the United Way of Central Illinois and the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln.