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Briefings reveal diverse opinions among Arizonans

October 29, 2008

New data from the statewide Arizona Indicators Panel Survey reveals a population that holds diverse opinions and frequently divided outlooks along income, educational, and other lines.

This data is reported in the first five installments of AZ Views, a new, ongoing briefing series by Morrison Institute for Public Policy. The AZ Views briefings reveal Arizonans to be complex—and sometimes even conflicted—in their views. Read all five briefings at

Overall, the surveys show that some views are broadly shared and most respondents display a generally optimistic tone. Most Arizonans, for example, say they have an “excellent” or “good” quality of life, trust the police, enjoy active outdoor pastimes, value family time, and identify their top issues of concern as the economy, crime, and health care.

Yet apparent inconsistencies emerged in other areas. While large majorities of Arizonans say they like their jobs and feel secure in them, for example, only 16% are “very confident” they could get another comparable job if they lost theirs. A demographic breakdown of respondents’ answers by race/ethnicity, income, educational level and other factors reveals a host of differences among Arizonans’ views.

Other findings include:

• Phoenix residents reported extremely high job satisfaction (97%), considerably higher than Tucson residents (69%).

• 89% of minority-group panelists believe that “the academic performance of our schools is not as high as it should be,” compared to 62% of all respondents.

• City of Tucson panelists (36%) were more likely to say quality of life had improved than those in the City of Phoenix (24%), the rest of Maricopa County (29%), or the rest of the state (22%).

• Healthcare was chosen as the primary issue affecting quality of life by a larger percentage of those whose family income were $30K to $60K than those earning less than $30K or those earning $60K and over.

• Immigration was chosen as the primary issue affecting quality of life by 4% of all panelists, by 6% of majority group members, and by no minority group members.

• Minorities (24%) were much more likely to strongly agree that “I enjoy living among people with different lifestyles and backgrounds” than majority group members (5%). Respondents with at least a college degree (20%) were much more likely to strongly agree than those with some college (9%) or a high school education or less (9%).

The Arizona Indicators Panel Survey, a project of Arizona Indicators, includes a representative sample of Arizonans. The first two surveys were conducted in May and July 2008. The respondents are Arizona residents who have agreed to be surveyed often during a year across many topic areas. The AZ Views series is a new tool that will offer fresh analysis of the collected data and insight into representative Arizona opinions on an evolving range of current topics.

For more on Arizona Indicators, visit Arizona Indicators is supported by Arizona Community Foundation, Arizona State University, Valley of the Sun United Way, and the Arizona Department of Commerce.