In an effort to better understand our community United Way Perth-Huron’s Social Research & Planning Council has been working on a series of new Quality of Life chapter reports measuring well-being data across the region.
“The Quality of Life Report is meant to be used by our community to understand the places we live. Whether that’s a student doing a school project, an elected representative digging into challenges and opportunities or service providers looking at how to better address needs, we want to make strong data available so people know what is going on in the places we live and work,” said Kristin Crane, Director Social Research and Planning for United Way. “We hope the reports create conversations within the community around what health and well-being look like and the specific recommendations examining what we all can do to improve life here in Perth-Huron.”
This year’s edition is the fourth Quality of Life Report by the Council and represents months of research, writing, designing and consultations. Thanks to an expanded framework, the final report grew into a series of five chapters instead of one as in previous years. The first three chapters released cover the demographics and make-up of Perth-Huron (Who We Are), diversity (A Diverse Community) and the economics of the region (Our Strong Economy).
Who We Are provides information on the people who make up the Perth-Huron and details such as age, gender and geography. One fact uncovered during research for the report showed that 28% of the population lives in a one-person household. With the years living through the pandemic and dealing with the associated isolation and stress, the negative effects on the well-being of the community come into sharper focus.
A Diverse Community delves deeply into elements of diversity. A key takeaway is the significant gaps in data that exists for many groups including the LGBTQ2S+ community and residents who have a disability. These gaps highlight the need for better local and national data collection practices so people are better able to self-identify, making for more accurate representation within data.
Our Strong Economy looks at the impact economic factors have on the quality of life in our community. Living with low incomes can impact many areas of an individual or family’s life and leads to incredible stress. A key point is the income gap between men and women in both Perth and Huron, where women earn $11,600 and $12,000 less respectively based on median after-tax income.
SRPC staff will be holding a lunch and learn to share the reports on Thursday, December 14, 11:30am-12:30pm on Zoom. More info here.