A three-year Gallup poll of residents in Charlotte and 25 other U.S. cities found that people's connection to their community could predict local economic growth. The cities with the highest ratings of love and attachment from residents also had the highest rates of local GDP growth over time, the study found.
In Charlotte, residents said social offerings, openness and the city's beauty are more important in creating lasting emotional bonds than jobs, basic services or perceptions of the economy.
"Our theory is that when a community's residents are highly attached, they will spend more time there, spend more money, they're more productive and tend to be more entrepreneurial," said Jon Clifton, deputy director of the Gallup World Poll, which conducted the study with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. "The study bears out that theory and now provides all community leaders the knowledge they need to make a sustainable impact on their community."
The study found that the link between local GDP and residents' emotional bonds to a place has remained steady despite the recession.
Read the complete story at charlotteobserver.com