POSTED: Monday, April 2, 2012 - 4:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, April 2, 2012 - 4:04pm
BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) — For the first time in four years, Louisiana residents are finally looking up. That positive outlook on the state comes from an annual survey to help gage what people think about important issues and how they’re being handled.
There are two major issues that matter most to Louisiana. Thirty-four percent of residents are concerned about the economy. Twenty-eight percent of people are most worried about education. The next largest concern is crime coming in at 9%.
That’s all according to the 2012 Louisiana Survey. It’s put out by LSU’s Public Policy Research Lab every year. Topics like education and the economy have always been important to residents and this year is no different. What stands out this time around is that people feel optimistic about them.
“We just asked people a very simple question, which is, do you think the state is headed in the right direction or the wrong direction?” Kirby Goidel explains. Goidel is the director of the Louisiana Survey.
Forty-seven percent of people polled had positive answers. That response is up six points from this time last year. It’s the first time since 2008 that particular survey question has seen an increase.
“People are very optimistic about the future,” Goidel explains. “People feel very positively about Louisiana as a place to live. People believe we can get better.”
However, it’s not all good news. Goidel says that while the survey saw an increase in the right direction number, it actually saw a decrease in confidence in public policy makers.
“When you see an increase in the right direction number, you expect to see an increase in confidence and you don’t see that,” he says.
According to the survey, residents are worried that their lawmakers can’t impact the issues that are most important to them. “The people who said education was the most important were the most likely to say the policy makers are not leading us in the right direction.”
Overall, the 2012 survey shows us that Louisianians have faith that things are going to get better. “That’s what I see year in and year out,” Goidel says. “People are optimistically cautious.”
The survey worked by calling up 731 Louisiana residents. The answers they gave to a certain number of questions helped build the entire report for this year. You can check out that survey at http://www.survey.lsu.edu/downloads/LouisianaSurvey2012StateDirection.pdf