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A Community Snapshot of Brown County’s Well-Being From the 2023 Wello Survey

Last month, the Wello team felt the love on Valentine's Day as we celebrated with our community during the 5th annual Wello Well-Being Summit! Over 200 people joined us at the Ashwaubenon Community Center for a snapshot of what our Community Health and Well-Being Survey found, wins from the last calendar year, and awards to recognize our partners who help make this work possible. 

We’ve shared many of our past wins from the last year in previous columns and they can also be found at wello.org, so let’s take some time to share some of the results of the 2023 Community Health and Well-Being Survey. This anonymous survey was administered from July 15 - August 31, 2023 to people 18 or older and available in English and Spanish. 

Current and Future Outlook

New in 2023 was a question that evaluates thriving called Cantril’s Ladder. It asks on what step of a ladder, zero being the worst and 10 being the best possible life, people feel they are at today and in five years. The results are broken into three categories: thriving, struggling, and suffering. The survey showed 58% of respondents were thriving, 34.3% were struggling, and 7.7% suffering. 

Then the survey asks where you see yourself on the ladder five years from now. The results are once again placed in one of those three categories. The survey showed respondents reported 75.5% would see themselves thriving, 20.5% would see themselves struggling, and 4% would see themselves suffering.

We saw differences when this question was analyzed by different populations and demographics. The data showed 43.2% of non-White respondents identified themselves as currently thriving versus 65.7% of White, non-Hispanic respondents. We saw a similar disparity within the LGBTQ+ community with 49.7% of respondents reporting they were thriving versus 59.4% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents.

Looking five years from now across those same demographics, we found a commonality - a feeling of hope. For both non-White and White, non-Hispanic respondents, people who said they see themselves thriving in five years increased to 75.5%. We found a similar increase for the LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ groups with the percentage increasing to 75.4% for LGBTQ+ respondents and 76.2% for non-LGBTQ+ respondents. 

Belonging, Inclusivity, and Membership

How connected a person feels to the community impacts your well-being. The survey asks three questions to get a snapshot of how residents feel about their sense of belonging, inclusivity, and whether you see yourself as a member of the community. 

The survey showed 78% of respondents “strongly agree” or “agree” with the statement that they see themselves as a member of the community. We found that 58% of respondents either “strongly agree” or “agree” with the statement that they feel like they belong. Finally, the survey revealed less than half of respondents, 43% to be exact, “strongly agree” or “agree” that the culture is accepting of people with different ideas. 

Trust In Local Government

Another new question to the 2023 survey was asking residents how much trust and confidence they have in the local governments (in the area where you live) when it comes to handling local problems. 

The survey showed 57.3% of respondents said “a great deal” or “a fair amount” to this question. Nationally, 67% of Americans responded with “a great deal” or “a fair amount” to this same question administered by Gallup in October of 2023.

Why We Measure This Data

Simply put, we are unable to change, build on, or improve what we don’t know. This survey allows Wello and others to hear directly from our community in order to be intentional in our actions. It is important to have mechanisms for people to share their truths in ways that help mobilize people around a shared vision of: All  people. Thriving. No Exceptions. 

The full 2023 Wello Community Health and Well-Being Report will be available at wello.org in mid-March.

This story ran as our March Green Bay-Press Gazette column.

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