UCI

2002 PPIC Statewide Survey: December 2002
Special Survey of Orange County
Public Policy Institute of California
in collaboration with the
University of California, Irvine

Press Release
Survey Methodology
Home

County Conditions
Most Important Problem
Regional Problems
Local Public Services
Local Government Ratings
Resident Satisfaction
Quality of Life

Public Policy
Infrastructure
Surface Transportation
Priorities and Funding
 
Funding Transportation Projects Through Local Sales Tax 
Measure M Sales Tax
The Great Park

Economic and Political Trends
Consumer Confidence
County Economy
Real Estate Market
Personal Finance
Economic Inequality
Approval Ratings of the Governor
Approval Ratings of the President

Appendices
2002 Survey
Survey Advisory Commitee

University of California, Irvine
2002 UC Regents

Most Important Problem

When asked what they think is the most important issue facing Orange County today, residents are most likely to mention population growth and development (20%), traffic congestion (16%), and housing (12%). Other topics such as jobs and the economy (8%), schools and education (6%), crime and gangs (5%), the El Toro Marine base (4%), environment and pollution (3%), and immigration (3%) are each noted by fewer than one in 10 residents. Compared to a year ago, the most notable changes in opinion are the declining mention of the El Toro Air Base (14% to 4%)-a reflection of the fact that Orange County voters passed the Great Park plan in March 2002-and increasing mention of traffic (12% to 16%) and the economy (4% to 8%) as the most important issue.

There are significant regional and racial/ethnic differences in opinion. Whites are more likely than Latinos to mention growth (25% to 8%), while Latinos are more likely than whites to mention the economy (13% to 6%) and crime (12% to 3%) as the most important issue. In the South County, population growth has now replaced the El Toro Marine Base as the focus of attention. In fact, South County residents are much more likely than those in the North County to mention growth as a problem (27% to 17%), while concerns about traffic and housing costs are fairly similar across Orange County. Mention of growth and traffic increases with education and income.

Interestingly, a year after the September 11th attacks, only 1 percent of Orange County residents name terrorism and homeland security as the most important issue facing the county.

To place the county's responses in a comparative light, the PPIC Statewide Surveys conducted throughout 2002 found that Californians in general named education, the economy, and energy and electricity as the three most important issues confronting the state.

"What do you think is the most important issue facing Orange County today?"

All Adults

Region

Race / Ethnicity

North

South

White

Latino

Population growth and development

20%

17%

27%

25%

8%

Traffic and transportation

16

17

15

17

13

Housing issues

12

11

12

12

10

Jobs and the economy

8

9

6

6

13

Schools and education

6

7

4

5

8

Crime and gangs

5

6

3

3

12

El Toro Marine Air Base

4

2

8

5

1

Environment and pollution

3

2

4

4

1

Immigration, legal and illegal

3

3

2

3

1

Poverty, the poor, the homeless, welfare

1

1

1

1

1

Drugs and drug abuse

1

1

1

1

2

Government regulations

1

1

1

1

1

Other

9

9

7

8

9

Don't know

11

14

9

9

20