Generally speaking, the quality of life is good in St. Louis County.  Or, is it?

The county recently hired a national research firm to conduct a survey as part of their strategic planning for the future. As part of a partnership with four other counties in Minnesota (Dakota, Olmsted, Scott, and Washington), they employed Polco's National Research Center, Inc. to prepare a set of questions.

Locally speaking, 2,800 residents in St. Louis County were chosen at random to receive the survey.  Of those surveys that were sent out, 26% of them came back with responses - generating a margin of error +/- 4%.  That result is considered "Statistically valid".

So what was on residents minds?

While St. Louis County gave positive rankings to most items on the life - from quality of life to government services, there were some problem areas and concerns.  The opioid epidemic was cited by many of "most problematic", although that category performed better in 2022 than it did the last time the survey was taken in 2019. In addition, many were concerned about homelessness and poverty, "both of which were seen as bigger concerns now than three years ago".

Some positive highlights included confidence in government and services; the ability to provide online payment options for county services; and the abundance of recreational opportunities also helped the county achieve high scores.  As far as finances go, St. Louis County also ranked well for overall cost of living.

Here are the survey response categories that St. Louis County ranked with good marks:

  • Quality of life
  • Cost of living
  • Recreational opportunities
  • Confidence in government
  • Quality of county services
  • 911 service
  • COVID response
  • Maintenance of county roads

Here are the survey response categories that St. Louis County received rankings of "concern and potential issues facing the county":

  • Opioid epidemic
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty

The entire survey and the complete set of results is available on the St. Louis County website.

St. Louis County is the largest county east of the Mississippi River.  Land-wise, it spans more than 7,000 square miles and is home to 200,000 people.

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