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Two New Surveys Indicate Issues Idahoans Care About Most

Boise State at the Capitol
Photo of Dean Corey Cook

February, 2019

An integral part of the vision of the School of Public Service is to: “serve as a recognized and trusted resource for policymakers searching for effective solutions to pressing public concerns.” To fulfill this vision, we conduct surveys across the city, state and region to help decision-makers make informed decisions. This month we are pleased to release two new surveys.

  • The statewide Fourth Annual Idaho Public Policy Survey asked Idahoans about their policy priorities and preferences about some of the major issues facing the state, including education, budget and taxes, criminal justice, and the environment.
  • The Third Annual Treasure Valley Survey provides a deep dive into the opinions and attitudes of the residents of the five county Boise Valley. This year, we focused our survey on the growth of the Treasure Valley and report their responses about the local transportation, housing, and infrastructure.

Whether you are a public sector decision-maker, a business or thought leader, or an engaged citizen wanting to make your community and Idaho a better place to live, we hope that our surveys will be a useful resource to you as we work in the Public Interest.

Thanks for listening,

Corey Cook
Dean, School of Public Service
Boise State University


Idaho landscape

Idaho Policy Survey Indicates Most Idahoans Are Optimistic About the Direction of the State

Education, healthcare and growth seen as main issues 

The fourth annual Idaho Public Policy Survey surveyed 1,004 adults currently living in the state of Idaho. Idahoans were asked about their attitudes on the main issues and priorities facing the state, education, budget and taxes, criminal justice, and the environment.

“Education remains the primary challenge that people see, with increasing numbers identifying healthcare and growth as the main issue facing the state,” said Boise State’s Jeffrey Lyons, Assistant Professor of Political Science and School of Public Service Survey Research Director.

Nearly six of ten respondents indicate that they feel the state is heading in the right direction, numbers nearly identical to last year’s responses.

Among the survey’s key findings are:

  • Idahoans remain generally satisfied with the direction that the state is headed in and are optimistic about the economy, but see education as the most important issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Evaluations of the quality of K-12 education in the state are mixed, with sizeable numbers believing that educational quality is fair or poor.
    Respondents are generally in favor of increasing state funding for early childhood education, but not if it is done by reducing spending on education in other places.

Watch an Idaho Reports Pundits Panel on Idaho Public Television Discussing the Idaho Public Policy Survey >


Fall Campus scene

Treasure Valley Survey Reveals Concerns About Growth And Affordable Housing

Sizable majority of residents believe Treasure Valley is growing is too fast

The Third Annual Treasure Valley Survey was conducted October 19th-November 4th, 2018 and surveyed 1,037 adults currently living in Ada, Canyon, Boise, Gem, and Owyhee counties.  The sample is designed to be representative of the population

Among the survey’s key findings are:

  • A sizable majority (72%) of Treasure Valley residents believe that the pace of growth is too fast. This number has increased in recent years from 50% in 2016 and 55% in 2017.
  • The two issues related to growth that are believed to be the largest problem are traffic/congestion (66% identify as a big problem) and the lack of affordable housing (60% identify as a big problem).
  • A large majority (73%) feel that the Treasure Valley could use more public transportation options.

Read the Treasure Valley Survey on Our Website >