Durham, NH – A News Study released by UNH shows that residents Of Coos County are optimistic about the future of their area, but remain concerned about the lack of job opportunities and drug abuse. The Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire conducted a phone survey in four North Country counties—Coös and Grafton, New Hampshire; Oxford, Maine; and Essex, Vermont. Many of the questions had also been asked in previous Carsey surveys done in 2007 and in 2010.
Researches found that in Coos County lack of job opportunities stood out as the top problem across all three surveys, with 96% of respondents agreeing it was the most important concern in 2010. That number decreased greatly in the 2017 survey to 86%, but remained the most important problem on the list.
Not surprising with the recent opioid epidemic hitting the state concern about illegal drugs throughout Coos county jumped significantly, going from 55% in 2010 to 75% in 2017. A new item we added in 2017 to reflect the opioid epidemic, substance abuse and overdose, ranked even higher: 80 percent of respondents said this is an important problem in their county.
When asked about the future 80% of those surveyed said they planned to stay in Coos county for 5 or more years with 79% saying they believe their communities will be a better place to live or about the same within 10 years.
The study concluded that “most people living in these North Country counties continue to be optimistic about their communities and their own situations. The profound economic transformation of this previously manufacturing-dominated region over the past several decades has not shaken this community confidence, but it does drive the ongoing concerns about job and economic growth opportunities.”
For a look at the full study click here.