Vibrancy Dashboard

The State of Vibrancy in Elkhart County

State of Vibrancy in Elkhart County

To better understand how Elkhart County residents feel about where they live, the Vibrancy Survey recorded the feedback from nearly 600 residents of Elkhart County in 2021. The survey asked questions about their views of their city or town, neighborhood, and qualities of where they live.

The results were consistently positive. Residents like where they live and are responding to Vibrant Communities’ mission to inspire people to love Elkhart County. Residents also view the future of Elkhart County with optimism.

They see the connection between placemaking and Elkhart County’s economic vitality – the principles at the foundation of Vibrant Communities.

In 2019 Vibrant Communities undertook a survey of Elkhart County residents, compiling more than 500 responses to a series of questions organized around the ideas of attachment (a measure originated by the Knight Foundation’s Soul of the Community studies).

While narrower in scope than the 2021 survey, the results (55.9 percent very good/good on social offerings, 59 percent on openness, and 73.7 percent on aesthetics) reflect a significant correlation of positive results that were also captured in the more recent survey.

Five Dimensions to Measure Community Vibrancy

The Vibrancy Survey used Community Satisfaction, Neighborhood Satisfaction, Attachment, Resilience, and Opportunity collectively to measure the current state of Community Vibrancy.

The survey asked residents to evaluate their experience living in Elkhart County with questions that related to the five factors. The results were tallied on a scale of 1 – 5.

Community Satisfaction

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Community Satisfaction is a measure of belonging and pride. measures the extent to which residents enjoy and are happy with the community beyond their specific neighborhood.

Sample question from the survey for this topic: How strongly do you agree or disagree with the statement, “My community is a very good place for me?”

77% of respondents were positive.

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Neighborhood Satisfaction

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Neighborhood Satisfaction measures the extent to which residents’ expectations are met or exceeded. It reflects perceptions about respect for people and property and safety as well as shared beliefs and actions.

Sample question from the survey for this topic: People who live near me are willing to help each other.

69% of respondents were positive.


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Attachment indicates the emotional connection to a place that transcends satisfaction, loyalty, and even passion..

Sample question from the survey for this topic: How would you rate the availability of outdoor parks, playgrounds and trails in your town?


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Resilience is a measure of the sustained ability of a community to utilize available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations.

Sample question from the survey for this topic: Average people can influence what happens in our community.


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Opportunity in a community is based on employment and economic opportunities.

Sample question from the survey for this topic: There are training and skill development opportunities in this community.

What’s Next

As Elkhart County continues to move forward, we believe the five measures above are critical to understanding the progress we are making. We also are monitoring metrics relating to population, education, and business but believe these are measures that will lag progress on the above. In other words, success in the five dimensions of vibrancy will contribute to positive outcomes elsewhere.

The work of placemaking – and the work of Vibrant Communities – is never truly over. But there is a place for everyone to work together in loving where we live.

If you have more questions about the survey, please submit them here.