Feature Article - June 2017
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Regional Information

A Look at Regional Trends


The Northeast had the smallest number of respondents from parks and recreation, though more than one-third (34.5 percent) of these respondents said they were with parks and recreation facilities. The next largest group of Northeastern respondents were from colleges and universities (14.9 percent). They were followed by YMCAs (13.2 percent), schools and school districts (10 percent), camps (8.5 percent), health clubs (3.9 percent), and community recreation and sports centers (2.8 percent). Another 12.2 percent were from other types of facilities, with Northeastern respondents more likely than other regions to represent ice rinks (1.1 percent of respondents from the Northeast), as well as amusement parks and theme parks (0.7 percent).

In the Midwest, 39.8 percent of respondents were from parks and recreation organizations. The next largest group were representing schools and school districts (14.2 percent). They were followed by colleges and universities (12 percent), community sports and recreation centers (8.1 percent), Ys (7.4 percent), camps (6.6 percent), and health clubs (3.1 percent). Another 8.8 percent were from other types of facilities, with Midwestern respondents being more likely than other regions to represent racquet and tennis clubs (0.6 percent).

Some 44.5 percent of South Atlantic respondents were from parks and recreation facilities. The next largest group were from colleges and universities (12.4 percent). They were followed by community sports and recreation centers (7.2 percent), camps (6.4 percent), Ys (6.1 percent), schools and school districts (5.8 percent) and health clubs (4.1 percent). Respondents from the South Atlantic were the most likely to say they were from "other" types of facilities, with 13.5 percent coming from other facility types. Among these, South Atlantic respondents were more likely than any other region to represent resorts and resort hotels (2.3 percent), and military installations (2 percent).

In the South Central region, 36.5 percent of respondents were from parks and recreation facilities. These respondents were the most likely to represent colleges and universities, with 17.2 percent of respondents in this region indicating this was their facility type. They were followed by schools and school districts (11.9 percent), community sports and recreation centers (8.6 percent), health clubs (5.7 percent), Ys (5.7 percent), and camps (4.1 percent). Another 10.3 percent of South Central respondents represented other types of facilities. Those that were more likely to be found in the South Central states than in other regions include churches (1.6 percent), waterparks (0.8 percent), and stadiums, arenas and tracks (0.8 percent).

In the West, around half of the respondents (50.5 percent) said they were from parks and recreation organizations. The next largest group in this region was from community sports and recreation centers (8.4 percent). They were followed by colleges and universities (6.9 percent), camps (6.9 percent), health clubs (6.2 percent), schools and school districts (5.6 percent), and Ys (3.1 percent). Another 12.4 percent of Western respondents were from other types of facilities. They were more likely than respondents from other regions to be from golf and country clubs (2.8 percent).

A substantial majority of respondents in all regions indicated that they form partnerships with outside organizations. Those in the West were most likely to do so, while those in the Northeast were the least likely to form partnerships.

Nearly nine out of 10 (89.2 percent) respondents in the West said that they had partnered with outside organizations. Western respondents were more likely than those in other regions to report that they had partnered with local schools (64.2 percent), nonprofit organizations (51.9 percent), health care or medical facilities (22.2 percent), or private health clubs (5.4 percent).

Some 87.2 percent of South Atlantic respondents said they had partnered with outside organizations. They were more likely than those in other regions to partner with the military (16.2 percent).

In the Midwest, 87.1 percent of respondents said they had partnered with other organizations. They were more likely than those from other regions to partner with local government (57.1 percent).

Some 86.5 percent of South Central respondents said they had partnered with other organizations. They were more likely than respondents in other regions to partner with colleges and universities (39.3 percent), state government (38.1 percent) and the federal government (22.5 percent).

Respondents from the Northeast were the least likely to report that they had partnered with outside organizations, though a majority (84.5 percent) had done so. They were more likely than those in other regions to indicate that they had partnered with corporate or local businesses (35.6 percent) and Ys (21.9 percent).

Respondents in all regions were most likely to report that their facilities reach an all-ages audience. Western respondents were the most likely to report that they serve an all-ages audience (45.6 percent), followed by respondents in the South Atlantic region (42 percent). They were followed by the Midwest (39.1 percent), Northeast (37.7 percent) and South Central (35.1 percent) regions.

Respondents in the South Central region were more likely than those in other regions to indicate that their primary audience was made up of children ages 4 to 12. Some 20.8 percent of South Central respondents named this age group as their primary audience, followed by the Northeast (19.9 percent). Respondents in the West were most likely to primarily reach an adult audience. Some 19.1 percent of Western respondents named this as their primary audience, followed by those in the South Atlantic (17.5 percent). College students were most likely to be the primary audience for respondents in the South Central region (14.7 percent), followed by the Northeast (14.6 percent). Respondents in the Midwest were the most likely to say teens were their primary audience, with 12.7 percent of respondents in this region saying they primarily reach teens. They were followed by the Northeast (10.7 percent). Finally, seniors were more likely to be the primary audience for Western respondents than for other regions, with 4.4 percent of those in the West saying they primarily reach seniors.