Moab has participated in Utah State University’s Wellbeing Project since 2020. The project aims to provide cities and counties with data about their residents’ well-being; it does this through community surveys. The 2022 Moab community survey is now open and can be accessed at tinyurl.com/Moab2022. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes.

“Sometimes there are a lot of assumptions that people can make about wellbeing—they might think, ‘Moab is such an awesome place, wellbeing must be fabulous there,’” said Courtney Flint, director of the USU Wellbeing Project. “I think a survey like this helps us get at some of the real experience in places … We highlight the challenges, as well as the great things, about a place.”

Survey respondents rank their “overall wellbeing,” as well as impacts on wellbeing such as their connection to nature, safety and security, physical health, mental health, and social connections. The survey also asks about concerns for the future of Moab and community wellbeing.

According to the 2020 and 2021 survey results, Moab reported the highest COVID impact of any of the 35 Utah cities and counties surveyed, Flint said—in 2021, the 443 Moab respondents reported the highest decline in wellbeing, especially in the areas of social connection, cultural opportunities, and mental health. The average wellbeing score out of 5 was 3.82, one of the lowest in Utah.

Moab respondents consistently ranked their connection to nature, safety and security, and leisure time as very high—according to the 2021 survey results, “red rock” either very positively or positively affected 100% of respondents.

But Moabites are plagued with worries about the future: in 2021, 65% of respondents said they had contacted a public official about an issue within the past year and 64% worked with others on an issue in the community; 63% of respondents said commercial development had “very negatively” affected them and 73% said economic development in Moab was “too fast.” The most concerning future issues for respondents were water supply, affordable housing, opportunities for youth, air quality, and access to healthcare.

The 2022 survey will be open throughout the month of April.