2016 Results

Oct. 25, 2016: Data Release 5: Leadership, Government Performance and Livability
Press Release | Quick Facts | Analysis and Cross Tabs | Infographics

Oct. 18, 2016: Data Release 4: Education, Health, Transportation and Recreation
Press Release | Quick Facts | Analysis and Cross Tabs | Infographics

Oct. 12, 2016: Data Release 3: Elections and Amendments
Press Release | Quick Facts | Analysis and Cross Tabs | Infographics

Oct. 10, 2016: Data Release 2: Crime, Safety and Immigration
Press Release | Quick Facts | Analysis and Cross Tabs | Infographics

Oct. 6, 2016: Data Release 1: Economics and Environment
Press Release | Quick Facts | Analysis and Cross Tabs | Infographics


The 2016 edition of the USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey represents a continuation of a public policy surveying effort dating back to 1999. Every effort was made to conduct this survey in the same manner and with the same data collection firm and analytical personnel that have been involved with the survey from the past five years. As in recent years, the sample was structured, and the telephone data collection calls were made by the Nielsen Company, a national survey research firm located in Florida which is known for conducting survey research to the highest and best industry standards.

Results of this survey are based on 1,248 telephone interviews conducted September 1, 2016 through September 19, 2016 with a random sample of adults, aged 18 and older, residing in State of Florida households.

For a random sample of 1,248 adults, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ± 2.77 percentage points.

For this survey, a telephone sample of 119,000 listings was randomly drawn from listed telephone households and from Random Digit Dial (RDD) working telephone exchanges (exchanges with at least five working telephone numbers per 100). Known businesses, cell phones and Do Not Call registered telephone numbers were excluded from the sample. In the listed sample, age and Hispanic indicators were available, and the sample vendor increased the proportion of Hispanic and more difficult to reach age ranges in order to improve the representativeness of the completed survey.

The sample was drawn proportional to county population throughout the State of Florida, and it was divided into 400 replicates of 200 listings each. Each replicate of 200 records contained both listed and RDD sample randomly shuffled within each replicate and representative of regional census population figures. Between one and five call attempts were made on all of the 119,000 records, with 85,843 of those records resolving out naturally due to completed interviews, refusals or having reached a maximum of five attempts per record. For harder to reach markets and demographic categories, up to six attempts were made.

Telephone interviewing was conducted by trained, experienced interviewers from a supervised telephone center using a computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) system.



Survey weighting is a mathematical procedure that applies more weight to respondents in underrepresented demographic categories and less weight to respondents in over-represented categories. For this study, the raw data was weighted based on 2015 population estimates for the State of Florida by the U.S. Census Bureau. Weights were applied according to region of Florida as well as by gender, age group and race/ethnicity using the same categories that were applied by the Nielsen Company in previous years for this survey.



In analyzing the data, the responses to each survey question were broken down by region and are reported when statistically significant. The composition of each region is tied to media markets as reported in the table below.

Counties in Each Region of Florida Used for the 2016 USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey


Media Market

Counties Included

Tampa Bay

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota

Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota

Miami/Ft. Lauderdale

Miami-Ft. Lauderdale

Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe


Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne

Brevard, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, Volusia

Palm Beach

West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce

Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, St. Lucie


Ft. Myers-Naples

Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee

North Florida




Panama City



Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Nassau, Okaloosa, Putnam, Santa Rosa, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Walton, Washington


Past Results