ODU survey reveals perceptions on health care, education, transportation in Hampton Roads

Posted at 2:58 PM, Oct 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-18 15:00:08-04

Old Dominion University’s 2017 Life in Hampton Roads survey is revealing what residents think of transportation and health care in the area.

The survey, conducted by the ODU Social Science Research Center, asked 908 Hampton Roads residents about a variety of topics.

Health Care:

The majority of those surveyed rated medical and health care in Hampton Roads as good (43.4 percent), while 20.1 percent believed their care to be excellent. About a quarter of the respondents (25.3 percent) reported their care to be fair.

Less than half of those surveyed (28.9 percent) rated their own general health as excellent, which is the lowest number since the 2013 survey. The majority of those surveyed reported themselves to be in good health (53.7 percent).

Virginia Beach (85.8 percent) and Hampton (84.7 percent) residents had the highest ratings of overall health while Norfolk (79.3 percent) and Portsmouth (77.3 percent) had lower percentages.

Only a third (33.5 percent) of respondents reported visiting a doctor, nurse or other health care professional more than four times in the past year, while 14.5 percent revealed they only went once and 8.5 percent revealed they didn’t go at all.

Over 50 percent of respondents reported they had not been diagnosed with any conditions such as asthma, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure/hypertension or cancer.

Respondents were also asked about how often they watch TV or play video games outside of school or work. The majority (49 percent) reported watching TV or playing video games anywhere from one to four + hours per week. Only 4.3 percent reported they do not watch TV or play video games at all.

Respondents were also asked about their children’s TV and video game habits. The majority (60 percent) reported that their child watches TV or plays video games anywhere from one to four+ hours per week. Only 4.1 percent reported their child does not watch TV or play video games at all.


Most of the 908 survey respondents (71.7 percent) do not have children, or they had children over 18 that were not in school. About a quarter (24.8 percent) said they have children in public school while only 3.7 percent said they have children in private school.

The majority of those with children (70 percent) rated the public school system as excellent or good, while 29.1 percent rated the schools as fair or poor.

The majority of those without children (54.9 percent) rated the public school system as excellent of good, while 36.6 percent rated the schools as fair or poor.

Respondents in Chesapeake (72.9 percent) and Virginia Beach (78.9 percent) were more likely to rate schools as excellent or good compared to other areas.

Portsmouth had the lowest percentage of excellent or good ratings at 31.3 percent.


Concerns over traffic congestion seem to be split, with 47.8 percent of respondents reporting they avoid visiting neighboring cities due to congestion. However, 52.1 percent said they do not avoid it.

In a surprising statistic, more than three-fourths of respondents (82.3 percent) said they do not use a toll bridge or tunnel to commute to work or school.

When asked if, in the past month, did they avoid visiting a business in a neighboring city due to tolled bridges or tunnels, over 66 percent reported they did not avoid while 33.8 percent reported they did. This is about a one percent difference from the 2016 results.

About 40 percent report they do not intentionally avoid tolls while 33.3 percent reported they do take a different route. Some (28.5 percent) even said they change their work or school schedule to avoid tolls.

Respondents were also asked about the expansion of light rail. Over 50 percent want the light rail expanded to Virginia Beach Town Center, while 61.6 percent want it expanded all the way to the Oceanfront. 56.9 percent of respondents would like to see light rail expanded to Naval Station Norfolk and 60.7 percent want it expanded to Norfolk International Airport. Just 12 percent did not wish to have the light rail expanded at all.


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