Quality of Life Rating and How it Has Changed
More than three-quarters (77 percent) of the residents of Greater Kansas City rate their quality of life as good or excellent, a figure relatively unchanged from 2018. Overall quality of life perceptions seem to be principally related to age, race, education and income. A significantly lower percentage of young adults (18-24 years) rate their quality of life as good or excellent (70 percent) than older adults (88 percent). This is a statistically significant change from last year, when young adults had the highest proportion of respondents who rated their quality of life good or excellent (86 percent).
Whites are significantly more likely to assess their quality of life as good or excellent than blacks, 82 percent vs. 62 percent. Only 64 percent of those with a high school degree say they have a good or excellent quality of life, compared to 91 percent of those with an advanced degree. The range is even greater by income, as 56 percent of those with incomes below $25,000 view their quality of life positively while this figure rises to 93 percent of those with incomes greater than $150,000. As might be expected, quality of life is significantly lower than average for residents who have experienced setbacks, such as divorce or unemployment. For residents in these situations, only 63 percent and 58 percent, respectively, currently rate their quality of life as good or excellent.
Half of the region's residents say their quality of life is better now than five years ago, while only 14 percent say it has gotten worse. Though disparities in quality of life remain by demographic group, it appears they are declining. Notably, the proportion of blacks, Latinos and Asians that say they have seen improvements in their quality of life equals or exceeds that of whites. A higher proportion of young adults say they have seen improvement over the last five years than older adults, 57 percent to 29 percent, as have those with less than a high school degree (62 percent) than advanced degrees (41 percent). Quality of life disparities may not be improving relative to income, however, only 44 percent of those with incomes of $25,000 or below report improvements to their quality of life, compared to 59 percent of those with incomes of $150,000 or more.