How do Polk County residents rate their quality of life?

The results are in from the United Community Needs Assessment — see how Polk residents rate their quality of life in different categories.

Lake Mirror at sunset in Lakeland, FL

Over 80% of Polk residents say those in their community are happy with where they live.

Photo by @_guaro_

Table of Contents

How well are your needs being met by your local community? That’s what the GiveWell Community Foundation and United Way of Central Florida set out to learn in their two-year study of Polk, Highlands, and Hardee Counties. Results were recently released in the United Community Needs Assessment (UCNA) report.

The UCNA study used surveys, focus groups, and other recent studies to analyze challenges in six domains: Economic and employment opportunities, housing, education, food security, transportation/infrastructure, and quality of life.

According to the report, 56% of Polk residents responded that they were “thriving” when it came to their well-being (page 54 if you’re following along at home). Meanwhile, 42% claimed to be “struggling,” and 2% reported “suffering.”

Over 1,600 Polk residents answered the UCNA’s survey questions about their quality of life (page 65). Here’s how many respondents agreed with these statements:

  • 83% — Their community is a good place to raise kids
  • 82% — Those in their community are happy with where they live
  • 81% — Residents can easily access outdoor facilities and parks
  • 78% — Their community is clean and well-maintained
  • 75% — Those in their community can easily access technology
  • 72% — Their community is accepting of those from different backgrounds
  • 65% — People in their community work hard to address local issues
A pie chart showing the percentage of survey respondents who rated their quality of life as good, great, okay, and needs improvement.

Here’s how Polk residents describe their quality of life.

Image by LALtoday

Overall, 45% of Polk residents reported that they had a “good” quality of life, 29.2% reported an “okay” quality of life, 13.1% said theirs “needs improvement,” and 12.6% described theirs as “great.”

Respondents said that they feel the local quality of life has improved in recent years (page 67), and they called for more housing, entertainment, and community spaces. Lakelanders also responded that the community has made efforts to be more inclusive.

If you’re interested in learning more about the UCNA results, check out the Polk County Snapshot.

What our readers say

We were curious how would our readers would rate their quality of life, so we asked them in a survey.

The first question asked readers to rate their quality of life on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the best). The average score was 7.8.

In the next question, readers were asked if they agreed with the statements in the UCNA’s survey. The majority of respondents agreed with each statement. “Residents in my community can easily access outdoor facilities and parks” had the most agreement with 83%. “People in my community work hard to address local issues” had the lowest agreement with 50%.

When it came to describing their quality of life, here’s how the numbers shook out:

  • 50.6% — Great
  • 30.7% — Good
  • 9% — Okay
  • 9.6% — Needs improvement

If you didn’t get to share your thoughts, you can still respond to our quality of life survey.