The State of Coos County: Local Perspectives on Community and Change

May 13, 2008 | by
  • Description

To learn more about how Coos County residents view the changes happening in their communities and the region, the Carsey Institute conducted telephone interviews with more than 1,700 adults in Coos and adjacent Oxford County, Maine in spring and summer 2007. Through about 100 survey questions researchers collected data on residents' experiences of change, their levels of concern about environmental issues, and the key issues they feel their communities are facing. This information is especially timely given the present point of transition in Coos. The survey also provides data on the economic and demographiccharacteristics of the county population, such as marital status, educational attainment, race/ethnicity, age, politics, and household income. The survey data can be used to examine the relationships between demographic factors, and to compare the changing circumstances of subgroups such as newcomers versus long-timers, or low-income versus middle-income and affluent residents. The survey presents a useful opportunity to track change in ways that go beyond the limitations of commonly-used secondary data, and offers a benchmark against which future changes can be measured and assessed. While the results for Coos are discussed at length throughout the report, the figures that display data for Coos as a whole also show data from Oxford County, Maine for purposes of comparison. These comparisons will be more meaningful in the future, when Oxford will function as a "control" county against which change in Coos can be compared, particularly as it relates to new investments, initiatives, and choices made by Coos residents. Where relevant, the Coos population is separated into subgroups according to length of residence, income, and age.