Feature Article - June 2009
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General Survey Results

The smallest U.S. region represented in the survey was the South Central region, with just 13.4 percent of respondents. This is slightly up from last year's 12.1 percent who came from Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

Finally, there was a drop in participation among international respondents. Last year saw 1.7 percent of respondents from international facilities, while this year, the number is 1 percent.

We break down the information gathered by region in Regional Trends.

Similarly to the regions represented, this year saw very little change in the types of communities our respondents hail from, with a slight drop in the percentage of suburban facilities, and a slight increase in those from urban and rural areas. (See Figure 2.) The largest group of respondents represent facilities in suburban areas (40.3 percent, down 3.5 percent from last year), while about a third (33.5 percent) were from rural facilities, a jump of 1.8 percent from last year. Slightly more than a quarter of respondents (26.2 percent) were from urban areas, an increase of 1.7 points over last year.

When it comes to their modes of operation and management, the majority of respondents, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) indicated they work for public organizations such as park districts, public schools and universities. The next largest group, at 18.6 percent of respondents, represent private nonprofit facilities like YMCAs and JCCs. Finally, 14.8 percent were from private for-profit facilities like health clubs, golf clubs and waterparks. (See Figure 3.)