Feature Article - June 2017
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Regional Information

A Look at Regional Trends


Budgets & Utilization

While respondents from the South Central region were the most likely to report increasing usage from 2014 to 2015, respondents from the South Atlantic region were the most likely to report that the number of people using their facilities had increased from 2015 to 2016, and also were the most likely to project further increases in 2017 and 2018. (See Figure 32.) They were followed by respondents in the West.


From 2015 to 2016, 60 percent of South Atlantic respondents said the number of people using their facilities had grown. They were followed by the South Central region (55 percent) and the West (53.4 percent). More than half of respondents in the Northeast (52 percent) and the Midwest (50.4 percent) also said their facilities had seen a growing number of users from 2015 to 2016.

Looking forward, respondents from the South Atlantic states continue to be most likely to expect further increases to the number of people using their facilities, with 63.9 percent projecting an increase in 2017 and 64.4 percent projecting an increase in 2018. They were followed by the West, where 60.6 percent expect an increase in 2017 and 58.6 percent expect an increase in 2018. Respondents from the Midwest were least likely to expect an increase in 2017, though nearly half (49.6 percent) said they expect usage to increase that year. Respondents in the South Central region were least likely to expect an increase in 2018, with 50.5 percent reporting they expect the number of people using their facilities to increase in that year.

Respondents in the West employ the largest average number of people, while those in the Midwest have the smallest staffs. On average, respondents in the West have 155 employees. They were followed by the South Atlantic (153.8) and the South Central region (149.5). Midwestern have the fewest employees, with an average of 136, followed by the Northeast (139.9).

As was the case in 2016, respondents from the South Atlantic and Western regions were the most likely to indicate that they had plans to add staff over the coming year. Some 26.4 percent of South Atlantic respondents said they had such plans (up from 21.6 percent in 2016), while 21.8 percent of Western respondents said they would be adding staff (up from 20.3 percent). They were followed by South Central respondents, where 20.4 percent said they had plans to increase staff (up from 18.9 percent in 2016), and the Midwest, where 18.6 percent plan to add staff (up from 17.3 percent). Northeastern respondents were least likely to be planning staff additions at their facilities, with 17.4 percent indicating they had such plans (up from 13 percent in 2016).

Respondents from the South Atlantic region were the most likely to report that their revenues had increased from 2015 to 2016. Nearly half (49.7 percent) of respondents in this region said revenues had increased in that time period. They were followed, though not closely, by the West (43.7 percent of whom said revenues increased from 2015 to 2016), the Midwest (42.5 percent), the South Central region (41.8 percent) and the Northeast (41.6 percent). South Central respondents were more likely than other regions to report a drop in revenue from 2015 to 2016, with 15.9 percent indicating their revenues had fallen.

Looking forward, South Atlantic respondents continue to hold the top spot in terms of revenue increased, with more than half expecting an increase in 2017 (53.2 percent) and in 2018 (54.5 percent). They were followed by Western respondents, 53.2 percent of whom expect an increase to revenues in 2017, and 49.5 percent of whom expect an increase in 2018. From 2016 to 2017, 47.3 percent of Northeastern respondents, 43.3 percent of South Central respondents and 42.4 percent of Midwestern respondents are expecting their revenues to increase. And from 2017 to 2018, 48.7 percent of South Central respondents, 47.8 percent of Northeastern respondents and 43 percent of Midwestern respondents are expecting a revenue increase.

Respondents from the South Atlantic states had the highest average operating expenditure in fiscal 2016, at $2,509,000, 22.7 percent higher than the average for all regions. They were followed by respondents in the West, whose average operating expenditure of $2,215,000 was 8.4 percent higher than the average for all regions, and the South Central states, whose average operating expenditure of $2,089,000 was 2.2 percent higher than the average for all respondents. Respondents in the Northeast had the lowest average operating cost for fiscal 2016, at $1,647,000, which is 19.4 percent less than the average for all respondents. They were followed by the Midwest, spending 15.5 percent less than all regions, at $1,728,000. (See Figure 33.)