I was going to ignore this Gallup survey, released earlier this week. But then, the Honorable Mayor of Evansville, Lloyd Winnecke, felt the need to repudiate the survey in this YouTube video. In it, he says that an "extremely small percent of those people who responded did so in an unfavorable way." And, Evansville Courier and Press business writer Susan Orr wrote a story where everyone the paper interviewed (one person, talk about small sample sizes) was incredulous. "You've got Evansville lower than friggin' Detroit" the Courier and Press quoted Greg Wathen as saying.

Well, here's the facts, Mayor. The survey sampled 789 people by telephone (both landline and mobile) in the Evansville area. That's a very considerable sample size for the relatively small number of people living in it. As the Mayor says, that's over 300,000 people in the Evansville MSA, but consider that surveys for things like Senate races will sample only 1000 people to project up to the 6 million who live in Indiana.

Evansville is the lowest rated metropolitan area in Indiana, out of 7. Of those, Evansville:

  • Is most obese (28.6%)
  • Has most smokers (29.4%)
  • Has most uninsured residents (18.2%)
  • Exercises third least (48.7%)
  • Eats fruits and veggies at the second lowest rate (55.3%)

The only category where Evansville is in the top half of Hoosier metro areas is "has daily stress", which only 55.8% of Evansvilliagers expressed.

Since Mr. Wathen was curious, let's have a look at Detroit. Detroit reports fewer obese people, fewer smokers, more people who eat well, more people who exercise, more insured people. On five of the six categories, Detroit ranks above the River City.

Think about that, Evansville. Not about how Gallup is some evil organization that wants to destroy Evansville and promote Holland, Michigan. Look within.

P.S.: I'm not trying to imply that Evansville lacks amenities that other cities like Detroit or Indianapolis has, because to me Evansville seems to have most of the important ones. The problem is how people make use of them, or don't.