The Sense of Place Index informs us about peoples’ emotional connection to Puget Sound. Understanding trends and variations in sense of place allows us to evaluate the human effects of restoration strategies. It also informs communication and marketing campaigns, opportunities for public engagement in restoration activities, and overall predictors of engaging in the Puget Sound natural environment.
Oregon State University Human Dimensions Lab
The Sense of Place Index is made up of seven questions addressing attachment to Puget Sound as a place, Puget Sound contributing to one’s identity, and feeling pride in being from Puget Sound. An index is appropriate because each indicator metric is related, but is a unique aspect of the concept.
Data are collected every 2 years via paper survey to a random sample of Puget Sound households. The population chosen for this survey was a clustered random sample of Puget Sound residents, with an initial sample of 9,000. Due to undeliverable addresses, the total sample reached was less than 9,000. In 2020, the response rate was 25 percent for a total of 1,843 respondents.
Also appended is a 2021 purposive sample of 180 Latinx respondents who were selected using a variety of techniques, including:
This one-time survey was conducted to approach Latinx respondents in diverse, potentially more culturally-appropriate ways, to determine if the Latinx respondents to our general public survey significantly differ from the overall Latinx population of Puget Sound (e.g., do Latinx respondents to our biennial random sample survey represent a biased group of Latinx?). To answer this question we compared the responses to the purposive sample to 1) all non-Latinx respondents in the general public survey and 2) only Latinx respondents to the general public survey.
The mean index response is 5.57, which equates to “agree” with statements about the importance of Puget Sound to the individual's sense of place. In other words, over 75 percent of Puget Sound residents “agree” or “strongly agree” that Puget Sound plays role in their identity, pride, and attachment.
For the random population sample, a linear regression explained 14 percent of the variation in responses based on demographics. As such, other factors are more important in predicting sense of place than what we measured. That said, a higher sense of place was more likely to be recorded for people who lived in urban areas, were white, and were liberal. For the purposive Latinx sample, those who expressed higher sense of place were more likely to be older, have a higher income, and have lived fewer years in the U.S.
This is the second iteration of collecting these data. We do not anticipate significant differences to appear until several years of monitoring.
The Puget Sound Partnership believes in the transparency and accessibility of the data used to address progress measures. These data are provided by contributing partners to the Partnership and are made publicly available through the Puget Sound Info site. These data are available on an "as is" basis and the Partnership is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies. Please acknowledge the monitoring program and data source when using these data and obtain permission from the Vital Sign Indicator Reporter to use these data in a publication.