This report both updates statistics and perceptions and adds new features. Thus, readers may look at quality of life based on how residents feel or on the trend lines revealed in the numbers. What Matters reports what people think about Greater Phoenix, how they view their own lives, and whether they believe the region is on the right or wrong track. The sections are presented in the order of importance assigned to them by the survey rankings (i.e., Education appears first, Public Safety and Crime second, etc).
What Matters is intended to support decision-making on public issues and to provide a reference for policy makers, civic and business leaders, community activists, and other residents. In response to feedback on previous issues, this edition includes additional indicators for healthcare and more information on higher education. Price and income data have been adjusted for inflation, and more information has been added where appropriate for a fuller picture of trends. Different approaches or completely new sources of data were required in some of this issue’s indicators because of changes in data sources. While every effort was made to choose items that would be stable, there is no way to control for how data are collected or reported over the years. On the whole, however, the 1997 baseline remains intact.