Press Release

December 2, 2011

Survey Helps Historic Triangle Leaders
Plan for Doubling of Senior Population by 2030

WILLIAMSBURG, VA — Newly released survey results show citizens over age 50 in the Historic Triangle are more satisfied with their quality of life than counterparts in other regions of the state. The same survey, however, also identifies issues for regional leaders as they plan for a doubling of the area's senior population by the year 2030.

The results are part of a statewide survey of 5,000 citizens age 50 and older by the Older Dominion Partnership. Local data was enhanced through a technique called "oversampling," which relies on gathering a larger sample size to improve its statistical reliability. Oversampling was requested by the Historical Triangle Collaborative and funded by a $17,000 grant from the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation.

Sandy Wanner, chair of the Collaborative, said, "The survey gives us reasons to be proud of the region, and it highlights a few of the challenges we face. It will be an important tool for government, business and civic leaders as we work to improve quality-of-life issues throughout the community."

The survey's key findings include:

  • Older citizens in the area report a higher quality of life than their counterparts in other regions of the state. Nearly 60% of Historic Triangle respondents rated their quality of life as "excellent." Statewide, less than 45% of respondents rated their quality of life as excellent.
  • The variables affecting seniors' quality of life are ? in order of importance ? health, housing, recreational opportunities and safety and security.
  • The data also shows a high correlation between finances and health. The survey authors state, "Those with high incomes are much more likely than those with lower incomes to rate their health as excellent or very good."
  • A significant number of seniors live in low-income households in the Historic Triangle. According to the data, 31% of citizens 65 and older live in households with an annual income less than $40,000.
  • Among local citizens over 65 years old, 26% of those who have re-entered the workforce said they have a different type of job, a potential indicator of economic distress.

The Older Dominion Partnership is a collaborative that includes businesses, government agencies, foundations, educational institutions and non-profit organizations.

The HTC is a group comprised of 11 Historic Triangle community leaders: officials and administrative officers of James City and York counties and Williamsburg and the chief executive officers of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, the College of William and Mary, the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance, and Busch Gardens & Water Country USA. The group gathers to achieve sustainable economic and quality of life benefits for the Historic Triangle through regional collaboration.

The Williamsburg Community Health Foundation, a private non-profit organization, supports programs that improve the health of people living in Williamsburg and surrounding counties. It focuses on enhancing access to quality health services and promoting responsible health practices. The foundation was formed in 1996. Since then it has given more than $46 million to support community health programs in the area. More information is available at www.wchf.com.