November 20th, 2018

Hawai‘i Communities’ Overall Well Being

How Does Your Community’s Overall Well Being Rank?

We thought it would be fun to share the overall well-being community scores at this time of year – when we are about to sit down for a Thanksgiving meal. As most of you already know, the Hawai‘i Well-Being Study is a team effort to fit together a set of reliable, continuing data to address policy-relevant strengths and liabilities in Hawai‘i. It is part of an ongoing effort to improve the well being of Hawai‘i’s communities and residents. We learn about the well being of a community in two ways: by asking individuals about their subjective experience and by looking at objective indicators. For example, the measure of safety and security is a combination of residents’ perception of safety in their community as well as the actual number of crimes within their community as reported by the Counties.

A variety of national organizations have provided “happiness” or “well-being” scores for the State of Hawai‘i in the past. These have been based on national studies with a relatively small base of local resident data. The Hawai‘i Well-Being Project was designed by local experts to identify local issues, validated through interviews with a large number of residents. The data presented represent the 2017 results. The study continues to be administered in 2018.

The overall well-being score is a statistical summary of the following scores by community that have been shared with you in the past.

  • Economic
  • Health
  • Governance
  • Safety and Security
  • Social Capital
  • Environment
  • Education

The overall well-being scores combine all the domain reports that have been previously analyzed and forwarded to you.

The following charts summarize the overall well-being scores for 53 communities across the State. The score is the statistically weighted mean of responses to survey questions and several public domain economic data.

Each chart has two frames – the score and an index. The index is a measurement of the variance of the specific community’s mean score versus the mean score for the specific County. As an example, on O‘ahu, the Hawai‘i Kai score of 67.7 is 11 percent higher than O‘ahu’s mean score for all communities. Whereas the score for Wai‘anae at 52.4 is 14 percent below O‘ahu island’s average score. As was requested by some of the recipients, we split the O‘ahu data into two charts for easier review.

The Hawai‘i Well-Being Study can be used to guide policy development and can be a valuable tool for Hawai‘i communities. The community-level data and the well-being model make it possible for communities to better understand the domains and factors influencing their residents. Over time, using this tool, specific domains/factors can be identified as needing to be strengthened to improve overall community well being. As programs are implemented, key metrics can track community-level changes, programs improved, and over time, higher levels of well being achieved.

In the next few weeks you will continue to receive mailings that will explain the well-being scores for the 53 communities we measured by the other domains listed. The results presented above are based on a random sample of 3,199 Hawai‘i residents, 18 years or older, providing a margin of error of +/-1.7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level at the State level, individual community level data will have a higher margin of error due to a smaller sample size which will improve as further iterations of the study are conducted.

For more information on how you can participate in the 2018 SMS Well-Being Study, please contact us.

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