Richard Florida is a co-founder and editor at large of CityLab and a senior editor at The Atlantic. He is a university professor in the University of Toronto’s School of Cities and Rotman School of Management, and a distinguished fellow at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.
Despite deep concerns about our national finances, Americans think their cities and towns are doing all right.
While Americans remain anxious about global and national economic conditions, their views of their local economies are considerably more positive, according a Gallup survey released today. The chart below shows how respondents rate economic conditions in their city or community, state, the United States, Europe, and the world as a whole.
Americans' views of economic conditions get progressively better the closer they get to home. Almost half or respondents (49 percent) rate the economic conditions in the city or area they live as excellent or good, and only 15 percent rate them as poor. The percentage saying their state economy is excellent or good dips to 37 percent, while more than one in five (22 percent) say economic conditions in their state are poor. When it comes to the U.S. as a whole, just one in four rate conditions as excellent or good.
Views on economic conditions vary considerably by region. This is not surprising given that some regions were much harder hit by the economic crisis. Local economic confidence is highest in the East, followed by the West, South, and Midwest.
Democrats are more upbeat about local economics than Republicans, with Independents occupying the middle ground.
Gallup also notes that:
This local positivity bias is not uncommon in surveys, but in this context suggests that the average American is not in as dire straits economically as would be thought based on national economic confidence ratings alone. These data are in line with previous research showing that Americans rate their personal financial situations more positively than they rate the national economic situation.