Love Kirkland? Gallup survey shows it may improve our economic growth

A three-year study by Gallup / Knight Foundation finds unexpected factors cause people to love where they live

Economic growth in a community related to residents' perception of social offerings, openness and beauty

A Gallup survey of 26 cities found that cities with the highest levels of resident attachment also had the highest rates of GDP growth over time. Resident attachment is defined as the level of resident love and passion for their community.

Data from the three year study suggests that social offerings, openness and beauty of a community as perceived by residents, has a greater influence in creating a lasting emotional bond. These unexpected factors may suggest new approaches to improving communities.

Knight Soul of the Community 2010 - National from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.

Three community qualities – social offerings, openness and beauty –  have consistently emerged as the leading drivers for community attachment over the study’s three years of the research. They beat out other possible drivers such as perceptions of local economy, leadership and safety.

“Our theory is that when a community’s residents are highly attached, they will spend more time there, spend more money, they’re more productive and tend to be more entrepreneurial,” said Jon Clifton, Deputy Director of the Gallup World Poll.  “The study bears out that theory and now provides all community leaders the knowledge they need to make a sustainable impact on their community.”

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