The 2017 Louisiana Survey: More Optimism about Direction of State, But Few Say Economy Improving

BATON ROUGE – Results from the 2017 Louisiana Survey show optimism about the future of Louisiana and confidence in state government to solve important challenges are on the rise. The public, however, remains concerned about the state’s budgetary problems and few see an improving economy.

The Louisiana Survey is an annual project of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, which identifies the opinions of Louisiana residents on important public policy areas and shares those opinions with state policy decision makers. 

For the first time since 2012, the share of Louisiana residents who think the state is heading in the right direction (46 percent) exceeds the share who think it is heading in the wrong direction (40 percent).

However, the public has a somewhat dim view of the state’s economic health: 40 percent say the state’s economy is worse off today than a year ago. A share of about the same size (39 percent) say the economy is about the same as it was a year ago, while just 16 percent say the state’s economy has improved.

The state government’s budget challenges top the list of residents’ concerns about the state. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) named budgetary issues as the most important problem facing Louisiana. The economy was named about as often (21 percent) as the budget. Education was named third most often (15 percent).

The share saying they are “very” or “somewhat” confident in state government to effectively address important problems rose six points from 34 percent in 2016 to 40 percent in 2017 – only the second time since 2009 that confidence has risen from one year to the next.    

About the Louisiana Survey

Since 2003, the Louisiana Survey has tracked public opinion about policy issues in the state. The 2017 Louisiana Survey was administered over the telephone from February 23 to March 23, 2017, to both landline and cell phone respondents. The project includes a representative sample of 1,012 adult Louisiana residents. The total sample has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.     

This is the second in a series of six releases on results from the 2017 Louisiana Survey. 

A copy of the report is available at Part one of the 2017 Louisiana Survey, Public Supports Raising Taxes to Fund Key Services, But Which Kind of Taxes Remains Unclear, is also available online.




Contact Michael Henderson
Public Policy Research Lab


Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations