UNL Ag-Economics Survey Research Manager Becky Vogt says the polls of city-dwellers and rural residents do disclose some similarities.
“They’re all looking for things such as a sense of personal safety, jobs and economic opportunities, quality school system, quality housing, well-maintained infrastructure and effective community leadership,” Vogt tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
The Nebraska Metro Poll talked with residents of the seven counties that comprise the Lincoln and Omaha metropolitan areas. The Nebraska Rural Poll surveyed residents from rural counties and regional trade centers in the state.
According to the surveys, city dwellers view information technology, recreation, and college as the factors essential to a community’s well-being. Rural residents prize religious ties.
Having a well-maintained infrastructure and a sense of personal safety is more important to those leaving in the state’s two largest cities than those living outside Omaha and Lincoln.
Those living in the two cities seem more optimistic about the future than those living in other parts of Nebraska. City residents were more likely to say they were better off now than they were five years ago and expect to be better off in 10 years. Nebraskans living in the more rural parts of the state displayed lower levels of satisfaction with job opportunities and financial security during retirement.
Rural residents also were more likely to express feelings of powerlessness about the future.
Age and income play a role as well.
Younger residents, no matter where they live, displayed a more optimistic outlook. Those with higher incomes did as well.
According to the poll, Nebraskans living outside Omaha and Lincoln are more likely to be satisfied with personal safety, environmental items, religion, transportation, and job security. Residents of Omaha and Lincoln seem more satisfied with housing, health, community, job opportunity, and financial security during retirement.
Vogt says both city and country residents see short-comings that need to be addressed.
“There’s kind of large gaps for both residents when we looked at characteristics such as effective community leadership, quality school system, and low cost of living,” according to Vogt. “So, those are areas that could use improvement really for both, across the state.”
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.