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Rockford’s lack of community pride drags it down in well-being

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Rockford’s lack of community pride drags it down in well-being

The goal of Transform Rockford is to make Rockford one of the 25 best communities in the United States by 2025.

How exactly that will be measured has never been formally announced. There are a number of community rankings that use data published by groups such as Livability.com and U.S. News & World Report.

Numbers can only go so far when it comes to public perception. People living in the community have to believe they are living in a top 25 community. The results of an annual survey by Gallup shows how far we still have to go in changing our own perceptions of ourselves.

The Rockford metro area finished 178th out of 186 in the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, which was released in March. It marked the second straight year that Rockford finished 178th and the third consecutive year that Rockford finished in the bottom 15 of the rankings.

Gallup surveys more than 150,000 people each year, asking them about their satisfaction with their lives and where they live in five key subjects:

  • Purpose: Liking what you do and being motivated to achieve your goals.
  • Social: Having love in your live and supportive relationships.
  • Financial: Managing your life to reduce stress and increase security economically.
  • Physical: Having good health and enough energy on a daily basis.
  • Community: Feeling safe and having pride in your community and liking where you live.

To be included, at least 3,000 people from the metro area had to respond. The most interesting aspect of this year’s rankings is how much better people in Rockford feel they’re doing financially. In the 2017 report – which was based on surveys done in 2015 and 2016 – Rockford ranked 89th out of 189 metro areas in terms of their financial security. In 2018, with the report based on responses from 2016 and 2017, Rockford moved up to 38th out of 186 communities in financial well-being. It was easily Rockford’s best score of the five rankings.

Despite the fact that Rockford respondents were feeling increasingly good about their financial lives, Rockford finished in the bottom three for the third straight year when it came to the question about community. It was by far the worst score of the five subjects. Essentially, if Rockford felt about its community it would rank higher in this annual study.

Gallup-Sharecare State of American Well-Being 2017

Metro

Overall

Purpose

Social

Financial

Community

Physical

1. Naples, Florida

67.6

1

1

1

2

2

2. Barnstable Town, Mass.

66.4

10

2

2

1

5

3. Boulder, Colo.

65.3

36

51

44

9

1

4. Santa Cruz, Calif.

65.1

7

16

23

10

3

5. Charlottesville, Va.

65.0

52

15

5

14

7

178. Rockford, Ill.

59.5

67

142

38

185

164

182. Binghamton, N.Y.

58.9

184

127

95

184

147

183. Morgantown, N.C.

58.6

176

165

183

114

185

184. Biloxi, Miss.

58.6

167

164

186

131

184

185. Canton, Ohio

58.3

186

185

164

165

183

186. Fort Smith, Ark.

58.2

183

181

185

145

186


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