New Public Opinion Poll Underscores Strong Support for Building a More Inclusive Capital Region Economy

The Inclusive Economy Poll highlights how Capital Region community members are faring in a changing economy and elevates a shared vision for the future.


May 30, 2024



Alana Ramsay

(916) 350-0617


SACRAMENTO, CA — May 30, 2024 — As the economy continues to recover from COVID-19, a new public opinion poll released by Valley Vision and We Prosper Together shares that residents in California’s eight-county Capital Region are divided on whether the economy has improved in the past five years but aligned around building an economy where all communities can prosper. Conducted in partnership with Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research, The Inclusive Economy Poll provides a snapshot of experiences and perspectives related to economic opportunity, access, well-being, and awareness in the Capital Region. 

Surveying the viewpoints of community members in Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties, the poll paints a picture of how people are doing in the region, disparities between demographic and geographic groups, and what people want to see for the future. Key findings include:

  • Capital Region residents strongly support ensuring that all community members benefit from economic development. 58% of respondents rate “concerned” or “very concerned” with ensuring all community members benefit in our economy. 
  • There is overwhelming consensus on the primary challenges and barriers to economic prosperity. Respondents nearly universally cited high costs of housing (90%) and high costs of basic needs like childcare and health care (81%) as the top barriers to achieving financial well-being. The lack of high-quality jobs (41%) also topped the list.
  • Almost half (48%) of Capital Region residents say that jobs are hard to find where they live. 82% of respondents are interested in increasing their job skills, and 46% of respondents between the ages of 18-34 are interested in changing their professions.
  • Respondents are more optimistic about the future of the next generations. 47% of respondents believe their child(ren)’s financial and professional life will be better than their own.

Informed by The Rockefeller Foundation’s five indicators of an inclusive economy, the poll unearths major gaps that residents see as standing in the way of shared prosperity across communities in the Capital Region, including access to living wage jobs, welcoming work environments, basic needs, and growth opportunities. It also demonstrates the opportunities and potential strategies for building a more inclusive economy, including investing in resilient industries and growing sectors, creating pathways to quality jobs, integrating climate resilience with economic development, and more. 

“Our region has a vision for what a healthy, inclusive economy looks like and how we want our communities to grow, and this poll underscores that. Highlighting the gaps, perspectives, and opportunities in our region, these findings help paint a holistic view of what people in our region are experiencing and will inform our work, both as Valley Vision and as part of We Prosper Together in creating and executing a shared regional economic roadmap.” 

Evan Schmidt
Evan Schmidt
CEO, Valley Vision

Valley Vision regularly partners with Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research to explore key community concerns and gain insights into public perspectives on priority regional issues, from livability to food systems to the workforce. The Inclusive Economy Poll marks Valley Vision’s inaugural public opinion survey dedicated entirely to assessing the economic health of the eight-county Capital Region. 


The full findings and recommendations of The Inclusive Economy Poll can be found at



About Valley Vision

Celebrating our 30th anniversary this year, Valley Vision has used research to help governments, businesses, foundations and community groups better understand the issues facing our region. We believe that knowing and understanding the facts is the best way to establish a common working foundation for collaborative problem-solving. That’s why Valley Vision conducts, produces and interprets research including scientific public opinion polls, focus groups, community needs assessments, best practice studies and other research tools to bring to light the information local leaders need to improve our communities.


About We Prosper Together

Representing eight counties in the Capital Region, over 150 organizations, and hundreds of community leaders and residents, We Prosper Together is driving a community-led approach to building a stronger regional economy. We Prosper Together is working to elevate diverse voices, encourage investments, amplify local solutions, and create living-wage jobs for families in Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties. Visit to learn more and get involved.