Survey questions well-being and happiness statewide

DataHaven, a nonprofit group leading the collection and study of public data on key social and economic indicators, has begun a major initiative — the 2015 Community Wellbeing Survey. This will be the most comprehensive survey of quality of life ever conducted in Connecticut, covering issues such as community vitality, health, family economic security, and individual happiness, the organization says.

Surveys will be conducted by cell phone and landline telephone as well as other public outreach efforts beginning this month.

Supporters of the survey include dozens of the state’s leading hospitals, government agencies, universities, and charities statewide

Building on the success of its 2012 survey of Greater New Haven — at the time the most in-depth regional survey ever conducted in the state — DataHaven’s 2015 Community Wellbeing Survey will expand this scope to encompass the entire state.

“This is a nationally recognized program that provides neighborhood- and regional-level information not available from any other source, with a mission to produce the highest-quality findings on the issues that are most meaningful to residents of all of Connecticut’s towns and cities,” Mark Abraham, executive director of DataHaven said in a press release. “With this detailed snapshot, state and local community leaders will be able to better serve the health and well-being needs of communities across Connecticut.”

DataHaven designed the 2015 Community Wellbeing Survey with the support of nearly 100 government, academic, health-care, and community partners, many of whom are supplying major funding for its expansion. The survey will involve interviewing 15,000 randomly selected residents about their views on topics related to civic engagement, health, economic security, transportation, housing, and employment, as well as on their individual happiness and satisfaction with government and community life. DataHaven says residents of smaller cities and rural areas will be included to the same degree as those living in its major metropolitan areas.

In Fairfield County, $200,000 has been committed by organizations such as Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Bridgeport Hospital, Stamford Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, and the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County.

Results from the survey will be published in a series of local and statewide reports throughout late 2015 and 2016, helping to shed light on progress made toward various long-standing community priorities, including financial security for families and opportunities for children to succeed. As an example, results from DataHaven’s more localized survey in 2012 were included in the Community Index, a nationally recognized, 86-page study that has been used extensively by governments, funders, journalists, teachers, and researchers in Connecticut. The results were also cited in a number of other landmark reports produced by area agencies and community organizations.

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