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Feature Article - June 2013

Regional Information

A Look at Regional Trends


All facility types were most likely to be found in the Midwest. More than one-quarter (25.9 percent) of parks respondents were from the Midwest, followed by the West (24.7 percent), the South Atlantic (22.4 percent), the Northeast (15.1 percent) and the South Central region (11.7 percent).

Nearly three in 10 college respondents (29.4 percent) were from the Midwest. Less than two in 10 were from the South Central region (19.8 percent), South Atlantic (19.2 percent), Northeast (18.5 percent) or West (11.8 percent).

Schools respondents were more likely than any others to be from the Midwest, with a full 45.6 percent of these respondents calling that region home. Far fewer schools respondents were from the Northeast (19.1 percent), the South Central region (16.6 percent), the West (11.8 percent) or the South Atlantic (7.5 percent).

Among YMCA respondents, 29.4 percent called the Midwest home, compared with 25.2 percent in the Northeast, 21 percent in the South Atlantic, 13.4 percent in the West, and 10.9 percent in the South Central region.

Camp respondents were again most likely to be from the Midwest, with 31 percent, followed by the West (23.3 percent), South Atlantic (20.2 percent), Northeast (15.5 percent) and South Central region (10.1 percent).

Finally, 29 percent of community center respondents were from the Midwest, followed relatively closely by 25.3 percent who called the West their home. Fewer community center respondents were from the South Atlantic states (16 percent), the Northeast (15.4 percent) or the South Central region (11.7 percent).

There was not a great deal of variance from one region to the next in the average number of facilities managed by respondents. Across all respondents, that number is 6.8. Those in the South Central states manage the largest number of facilities on average, with 7.7. Respondents in the Midwest manage the fewest, with an average of six.

A majority of respondents in all regions indicated that they form partnerships outside their organizations to enhance their operations, programming, marketing, fundraising efforts and more. Those in the West were the most likely to form such partnerships, with a full 87.1 percent of respondents in that region indicating they had done so. They were followed by the Midwest (86.6 percent) and South Atlantic (86.4 percent. Slightly fewer in the South Central and Northeastern region reported forming partnerships, with 83.4 percent and 79.7 percent, respectively, indicating they had done so.

Not only were respondents from the West most likely to form partnerships with other facilities, but they were the most likely to form partnerships with nearly every type of facility covered in the survey, including local schools, local government, nonprofit organizations, state government, corporate or local businesses, federal government, healthcare facilities and private health clubs. There were only three exceptions. Respondents from the South Atlantic were the most likely to partner with YMCAs and military organizations than respondents in other regions. And respondents from the South Central region were more likely than respondents in other regions to partner with colleges and universities.

There also was variation across the regions in the primary audience served by facilities in our survey. Respondents in the West and Midwest were much more likely than those in the South Central states to indicate that they served all ages. Some 44.9 percent of respondents in the West and 43.3 percent in the Midwest reported that they served all ages, compared with less than one-third (32.8 percent) of South Central respondents. Likewise, almost twice as many respondents in the South Atlantic (22 percent) served adults compared with the Northeast (11.2 percent). On the other hand 20.1 percent in the Northeast served school-age children, compared with just 11.5 percent in the Midwest. Those whose primary audience was college students were more likely to be found in the South Central region, where 17.9 percent of respondents called that their primary audience. Likewise, this region was most likely to serve teens as its primary audience—a full 13.8 percent of South Central respondents said teens were their main patrons, compared with just 6.2 percent of respondents in the South Atlantic.