Community Wellbeing Survey underway

How happy are you? Have you seen a dentist lately? Are local government officials responsive to your needs?

Those are some of the questions being asked by friendly survey-takers helping DataHaven and dozens of leading community and charitable groups complete the largest ever well-being survey of area residents.

A record number of participants will pick up the phone — over 15,000 by the time the 2015 Community Wellbeing Survey is complete.

“Our initial feedback from residents and our previous experience with this survey shows that people like to answer these questions,” said Mark Abraham, executive director of DataHaven, which is spearheading the campaign. Abraham said in a press release, “They are answering questions about their own happiness and health, their family’s financial security, and how their communities and neighborhoods are faring. These questions show that we care about how they feel.”

DataHaven, the nonprofit group leading the collection and study of neighborhood level public data on key social and economic indicators, announced the commencement of the program in mid-April. With over 15,000 respondents, it is believed to be the most intensive effort of its kind in the United States, said a press relesae.

Seeing the potential impact of its results, dozens of Connecticut’s leading hospitals, government agencies, universities, and charities are backing the 2015 Community Wellbeing Survey with major donations. Supporters joining DataHaven include regional community foundations, United Ways, and health care providers located in Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford, Waterbury, New Britain, Norwalk, Danbury, Bristol, Derby, New London, and elsewhere.

Building on the success of its 2012 survey of Greater New Haven — at the time the most in-depth regional survey ever conducted in the state — DataHaven’s 2015 Community Wellbeing Survey will again implore residents to, “Make a difference: Pick up your cell phone or home phone, help your community learn more about your needs, and tell us what you want to see for greater happiness and well-being in your neighborhood,” said Abraham in the press release.


This nationally recognized program provides neighborhood- and regional-level information not available from any other source on community vitality, health, family economic security, and individual happiness. Other topics such as civic engagement, transportation, housing, and employment – even satisfaction with government and community life – are included.

Residents throughout Connecticut and adjacent sections of New York State will receive phone calls from survey-takers at the Siena College Research Institute – generally appearing as a 518 area code. Calls will continue throughout the spring and summer.

The mission of the initiative is to produce the highest-quality, neighborhood-level information on issues that are most meaningful to local residents, and to foster collaboration between the hundreds of organizations, institutions, businesses, and agencies that are working to build stronger communities.

“With such a detailed snapshot, state and local community leaders will be able to better serve the health and well-being needs of our communities,” said Abraham in the news release.


Unlike most statewide and national surveys, the news release from DataHaven, said the program has brought together grassroots efforts across the state – effectively unifying dozens of existing regional surveys into a single, high-quality program that covers all areas.

DataHaven designed the 2015 Community Wellbeing Survey with the support of nearly 100 government, academic, health-care, and community partners, many of whom are supplying major funding for its expansion.

Partners providing significant funding for the program are representative of each region of Connecticut



Results from the survey will be published in a series of local and statewide reports throughout late 2015 and 2016, helping to shed light on progress made toward various longstanding community priorities, including financial security for families and opportunities for children to succeed.

A list of partners for DataHaven’s 2015 Community Wellbeing Survey include: Main Street Community Foundation and the City of Bristol.