2007 MVOV Report

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Many Voices One Valley 2007 reports the results of a survey conducted by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion and funded by the Dyson Foundation about what people in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley think of living in the region. The counties included in the study are Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, and Ulster. The results provide a road map to residents’ perceptions of the region and expectations for the future.

It also updates a similar study conducted in 2002. Many of the questions asked five years ago are part of this new study so that life in the Mid-Hudson Valley may be compared between then and now.

In the present study, 4,320 residents of New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley were interviewed from April 9th to June 19th, 2007. They were asked about life and work in the region and their priorities for the future. The 2007 survey results for all residents are statistically significant at 1.5%. The margin of error increases for smaller sub-groups in the population.

Most people living in the Mid-Hudson Valley have a positive impression of the area as a place to live, and many believe they can play a role in improving the quality of life in their community.

However, the Mid-Hudson Valley is home to people from a wide array of economic backgrounds.  Although the chasm between the fortunate and the less fortunate has not grown dramatically over the past five years, it has not narrowed either.  With a population of such diverse economic backgrounds, it is not surprising that many residents see things differently from one another.  In particular, households with low income, African Americans, Latinos, single parents, and people with a disability continue to be much more likely to see a need for change on many issues.

Perceptions and expectations also differ among the counties that make up the region.  Putnam County residents are the most upbeat about many issues facing the region.  Residents of Sullivan County, who were not surveyed in 2002, are often the most discouraged.  People living in the five other counties tend to fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

But, Mid-Hudson Valley residents also share a great deal in common with each other especially when it comes to their priorities for the region.  For the most part, the same issues resonate with people from many different backgrounds and from all walks of life.