Feature Article - June 2014
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A Look at Regional Trends

Regional Information


Looking at other facility types, colleges and universities were more common among respondents in the South Central states, where more than a quarter (21.7 percent) were with colleges and universities. They were followed by the Northeast, with 18.5 percent of its respondents representing colleges. Respondents in the West were least likely to be from colleges, with only 12.8 percent of respondents in this region indicating they worked for this type of facility.

Schools and school districts were more predominant in the Midwest and South Central states, where 16.9 percent and 12.5 percent of respondents, respectively, worked for schools and school districts. By comparison, only 5.4 percent of South Atlantic respondents worked for schools and school districts.

Health club respondents were slightly more evenly distributed, from a high of 3.7 percent of South Central respondents to a low of 1.9 percent of Midwest respondents. YMCAs, on the other hand, were more common among Northeastern respondents, where 8.9 percent represented YMCAs. This compares with just 3.7 percent of Western respondents. Camps were more common among Northeastern respondents as well, with 6.6 percent of these respondents indicating they worked for camp facilities. Community recreation and sports centers, on the other hand, were more commonly found among respondents in the West.

With the exception of health clubs and community centers, all facility types, like the survey population in general, were most likely to be found in the Midwest.

Nearly three in 10 parks respondents (29.1 percent) were from the Midwest. They were followed by parks respondents in the West (22.4 percent), South Atlantic (21.3 percent), Northeast (15.4 percent) and South Central region (11.5 percent).

Some 31.1 percent of college respondents were from the Midwest. They were followed by respondents in the South Central states (19.6 percent), Northeast (17.1 percent), and the South Atlantic and West, each of which is home to 15.4 percent of the survey's college respondents.

Nearly half (46.2 percent) of school respondents call the Midwest their home, making this the facility type most heavily weighted toward the Midwest. They were followed by the West (17.1 percent), South Central (16.3 percent), Northeast (12.4 percent), and South Atlantic (8 percent).

Health clubs were more evenly distributed across the regions, and were most likely to be found in the West. Nearly a quarter (24.1 percent) of health club respondents call the West their home. They were followed by the Midwest (22.4 percent), the South Central region (20.7 percent), the South Atlantic (19 percent), and the Northeast (12.1 percent).

Some 31.7 percent of YMCA respondents were from the Midwest. They were followed by respondents from the Northeast (24.4 percent), South Atlantic (15.4 percent), South Central (14.6 percent) and the West (13 percent).

Camps were the second most likely to be found in the Midwest, with 39.7 percent of camps respondents reporting that they call the Midwest home. They were followed by the Northeast (17.1 percent), West and South Central (each at 15.8 percent) and South Atlantic states (11.6 percent).

Finally, community centers were most likely to be found in the West, with 27 percent of community center respondents indicating that they were from this region. They were followed by the Midwest (25.7 percent), South Atlantic (16.4 percent), Northeast (14.5 percent) and South Central region (13.8 percent).

A majority of respondents in all regions reported that they form partnerships outside of their organizations to enhance their operations, programming, marketing, funding and more. Those from the West were the most likely to report that they formed such partnerships, with 87.2 percent indicating they had done so. They were followed by the South Atlantic (86.4 percent of whom form partnerships), Midwest (84.2 percent), Northeast (82.1 percent) and South Central region (81.7 percent).

Interestingly, though those in the West were the most likely to form any sort of partnership, they were not the most likely region to team up with some of the most common partner organizations. For example, local schools and local government, the two most common partners found among all regions, were most likely to be partners with respondents from the Northeast and South Atlantic regions, respectively.

In addition to local schools, respondents in the Northeast were the most likely to partner with state government and private health clubs. In addition to local government, respondents in the South Atlantic were also most likely to partner with YMCAs. Respondents in the South Central region were the most likely to partner with colleges and universities. And respondents in the West, in addition to being the most likely to partner at all, were the most likely to form partnerships with nonprofit organizations, corporate or local business, federal government, health care or medical facilities, and the military.

There also was some variation across the regions in terms of the primary audience served by respondents' facilities. Children ages 4 to 12 were more likely to be the primary audience in the Northeast and South Atlantic states, where 20 percent and 19.8 percent of respondents, respectively, named this as their main audience served. Children ages 4 to 12 were the least likely to be the primary audience in the South Central states, where just 11.1 percent of respondents said this was their main audience.

Teens were most likely to be the primary audience of Midwest respondents, with 12.2 percent of these respondents saying that teens were their primary audience. Respondents in the South Atlantic were least likely to serve teens as their main audience, with just 6.8 percent of these respondents indicating their primary audience was made up of teenagers. College students were most likely to be the primary audience of respondents in the South Central region, reflecting the predominance of college and university respondents in that region. Some 20 percent of South Central respondents said college students were their primary audience. Respondents in the West were least likely to name college students as their primary audience, with 11.1 percent of Western respondents naming them as the main group using their facilities. Adults ages 19 to 64 also were most likely to be the primary audience in the South Central region, with 20.9 percent of respondents in this region naming adults as their primary audience. They were least likely to be the primary audience for respondents in the Northeast, where 14 percent name adults as their main user group. Seniors were more likely to be the primary audience in the South Atlantic than in other regions. Some 3.3 percent of South Atlantic respondents said seniors were their primary audience. At the opposite end of the spectrum, just 0.5 percent of respondents in the Northeast said seniors were their primary audience.