2002 Executive Summary

In 1992, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Survey was launched. The goal was both simple and innovative – get an in-depth picture of what Oregonians really think, really value and really believe.

To that end, they were asked some fundamental questions. They were asked to list their priorities for themselves and their families. They were asked what they wanted for their communities and from their elected officials. They were asked what matters to them and what they envision for the future.

Their answers predicted many of the policy changes of the following decade.

In 1992, for example, Oregonians were deeply concerned with crime and public safety issues. Two years later, they passed Measure 11, the mandatory minimum sentencing initiative. And in 1992, school quality was the top educational concern. At that time, statewide standards as the result of the Oregon Education Act were still in development.

A decade later in 2002, we went back to Oregonians with the same questions - and a few new ones. 

Some things remained the same. Family comes first to Oregonians from Pendleton to Portland, from Medford to Bend. Quality public education and adequate healthcare remain top priorities. 

Other concerns have shifted. Oregonians today say they feel safer than they did in 1992 and they are much more satisfied with the quality of their local schools. At the same time, they are more concerned about education funding and are much more worried about caring for senior citizens. 

The implications of the Oregon Values & Beliefs 2002 survey are clear. By allowing Oregonians to frame the issues for themselves, this project offers the kind of guideposts to policy makers, community leaders and lawmakers that come along only once in a decade.

About the survey

The 2002 survey was designed and administered by Davis Hibbitts & Midghall Research Inc

The 2002 project included more than 2,600 Oregonians from across the state. It provides valid and statistically reliable information at the regional level and by age, gender, income and education. In addition to conventional opinion surveys, the study also used large group discussions and scaled comparisons as a means of ranking abstract qualities such as personal values, personal activities, and attitudes about government services.

The Oregon Values & Beliefs 2002 Survey was sponsored by: