DETERMINANTS OF NEIGHBORHOOD QUALITY: AN ANALYSIS OF THE 1976 ANNUAL HOUSING SURVEY

Using 1976 Annual Housing Survey data, this paper assesses the contributions to overall neighborhood quality of peoples' evaluations of environmental conditions and public services. The analytic model takes into account (1) the extent to which the presence or absence of conditions influence ratings of neighborhoods, (2) the relative importance of condition and service evaluations in explaining overall neighborhood ratings, and (3) the extent to which the evaluations in households with different background characteristics differ in importance in explaining overall neighborhood ratings. Findings suggest that most Americans are quite content with their neighborhoods; in fact, four in five rated them as either excellent or good. The presence or absence of neighborhood conditions (as measured by respondent's perceptions) account for only one - sixth of all variations in neighborhood quality ratings. People's feelings about conditions around them are more significant to their assessment of neighborhood quality than are perceptions of local government services. Most important among these conditions are neighborhood and housing upkeep, street noise, and crime. Among public services, police protection, public transportation, and health - care facilities are most valued. Population subgroups differed significantly in their ratings of neighborhoods -- poorly educated, young black renters were most likely to give negative overall neighborhood ratings. Ratings by selected attributes did not vary significantly. These findings stimulate several suggestions: (1) future surveys should contain questions covering combined attributes, (2) the use of a different battery of evaluative questions for rural and urban neighborhoods should be considered, and (3) questions on persons' intentions to move from their present residences should be added. Study data and a bibliography are provided. (Author abstract modified).

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Paper copy available from the Sup. of Docs., Stock number 023-000-00544-1.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

    Department of Biostatistics
    Ann Arbor, MI  USA  48109

    Department of Housing and Urban Development

    451 7th Street, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20410
  • Authors:
    • Marans, R W
  • Publication Date: 1979-3

Media Info

  • Pagination: 40 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00314231
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HUD/PDR-474
  • Contract Numbers: HUD-H-2257-78
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 27 2003 12:00AM