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The UNO Survey Research Center began its Quality of Life series in 1986. Since then the quality of life and government services in Jefferson and Orleans parishes has been assessed every other year. The current 2012 survey is the sixteenth in the series, and in this report we pay particular attention to changes in both parishes that have occurred over the last two to ten years.

The 2012 study is a return to the more conventional examination of quality of life in the region. The focus of the study changed immediately after Katrina to identify the key problems and difficulties people were facing and how they were coping in the aftermath of the devastation. Although Katrina changed our world we believe that we are far enough removed from that event to have attained a degree of equilibrium that permits us to examine quality of life in the same way we did prior to 2005.

These surveys are designed to provide an ongoing picture of how voters view local government services and the general quality of life. They highlight the problems that are of greatest concern to the voters, as well as areas of satisfaction in their parish. The twenty-six-year time series can be used to assess the effects of events, programs, and policies. The series can also inform the public and officials about specific areas of perceived deterioration or improvement.

The results of the Quality of Life surveys represent the perceptions and opinions of the registered voters of the two parishes. The results are not objective measures of the quality of life or the quality of government services.