2022 Resident Survey results show good quality of life, but also concerns

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 Administration • 100 North Fifth Avenue West, Room 202 • Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 726-2450 • www.stlouiscountymn.gov

Kevin Z. Gray
County Administrator




July 14, 2022

MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager

218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)


2022 Resident Survey results show good quality of life, concern about opioids, increased interest in county government

The quality of life in St. Louis County is good and, compared to the national average, the cost of living here is rated better, and the recreational opportunities score much higher. This is the feedback county residents provide through the recent residential survey conducted by Polco's National Research Center, Inc. 


Survey participants also provided input on areas of concern and potential issues facing the county. The opioid epidemic was again rated most problematic, though with a slight decrease in rating than in 2019, the last time this survey was conducted. Other issues noted include homelessness and poverty, both of which are seen as bigger concerns now than three years ago. 


Respondents overall confidence in the St. Louis County government has remained steady, as has their approval rating for the job St. Louis County is doing. County services rated most highly include 911 dispatch and sheriff patrol, both of which consistently are ranked high. New this year, respondents were asked to rate the county's COVID services, and it tied for third highest rated service, along with positive ratings for county landfill and canister sites and recycling programs.

When asked to rank the importance of various county services, the top three are to: protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse and neglect, enforce laws and prosecute criminals, and invest in County road infrastructure. The service that saw the largest increase in rating of importance is to provide online payment options for county services.


Responses received are compared to survey results from communities across the country. St. Louis County residents rated "maintenance of county roads" much higher than the national county benchmark. Respondents also gave much higher marks for overall impression of county employees.

"We appreciate everyone who took the time to respond to this survey and share their feedback," said County Administrator Kevin Gray. "We use this information as we make decisions on how we can better serve our residents, and as we set budgets and priority programming. Commissioners and staff will take all of this information into consideration as we work on the 2023 budget and long range plans."

Complete survey results can be viewed online at stlouiscountymn.gov.

The survey packet was mailed to 2,800 County residents selected at random, and had a 26-percent response rate. Results of the survey are considered statistically valid, with a margin of error of +/- 4%.

St. Louis County partnered with four other counties: Dakota, Olmsted, Scott and Washington, to produce the survey, which is being conducted by the National Research Center, Inc. The County conducted similar surveys five other times, beginning in 2007 and most recently in 2019.

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