Metropolitan areas constantly change. Researchers often have few opportunities to study change until it has already occurred, making research less relevant to policy makers. The DC Area Survey seeks to collect data on important processes as they occur and to share timely insights from the data with the public in a timely manner.
I launched the DC Area Survey with colleagues at American University in 2016. The data surveys representative samples of residents in DC and the bordering jurisdictions, Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in Maryland; Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia; and the City of Alexandria, Virginia. The survey has investigated questions related to neighborhood satisfaction and change, how well local institutions serve residents, perceptions of crime, health, and views on policing and immigration enforcement.
The first study in 2016 focused on two types of neighborhoods: multiracial neighborhoods (that I call quadrivial neighborhoods) and disproportionately Latino neighborhoods. We released a report, Diversity in the D.C. Area: Findings from the 2016 D.C. Area Survey, that shows almost all residents in these neighborhoods were satisfied in their neighborhoods, with almost no differences by race. The results also revealed, however, rofound racial differences in fear of police questioning or arrest and fear of deportation and socioeconomic differences in the perceived availability of non-profits.
The results of the study were covered in the Washington Post and on WAMU. My colleagues Khaldoun AbouAssi and Lewis Faulk published a paper on perceived availability of nonprofit and local government services in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. We conducted the second wave of the DCAS in 2018. We are working on releasing the data for public use.