Olmsted County releases resident survey results

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(ABC 6 News) – Olmsted County conducts a widespread resident survey every three years to gauge what the public thinks the county does well, and what they think the county could work on.

Survey results follow a zero to 100 scale with zero being poor and 100 being excellent. Residents gave Olmsted County a 73 for quality of life, which is higher than the national benchmark for other counties.

When asked about the characteristics of Olmsted County, affordability was a significant downfall. The availability of affordable housing dropped to 26 in 2019. Availability of affordable child care sat nearby at 27. People gave available public transportation a 47, and in the Med City, availability of affordable health care a 48.

“While it does continue to be one of the highest concerns people have, it’s identified as a moderate problem, and there are some very specific ways that we can work to address some of those issues,” said Debra Ehret Miller, the director of policy, analysis, and communications with Olmsted County.

In the last six years, people reported feeling safer from violent crimes. That number was 65 in 2016 and 71 in 2022. Similar to years past, people feel the most unsafe about distracted drivers on county roads doing things like texting, changing music stations, or eating.

Residents also reported feeling somewhat unsafe about drunk drivers on county roads.

Survey results suggest residents feel Olmsted County could do better at providing mental and chemical health services and at protecting vulnerable adults with those numbers at 45 and 47, respectively.

“We rated similar to other counties in our national benchmarks on services such as services to older adults, protecting children,” Miller said.

To find the full survey results, click here.