The issues facing Long Island are significant. Through our indicators, survey findings and special analyses, the Long Island Index provides data to measure the problem as well as compare ourselves to other suburban regions and, most significantly, to see what is working in other areas that could be tried here.
Long Island’s Hundreds of Service Providers
More than most places, New York State has a patchwork quilt of governments providing services to taxpayers. Nowhere is this more obvious than on Long Island, with its 2 counties, 2 cities, 13 towns, 96 villages, and more than 120 school districts. In addition to these forms of local government, which most residents are familiar with, there are also library districts, fire districts and special districts providing services such as water, sewer and garbage pick-up.
The impact of this structure is multi-faceted. Most importantly, it contributes to higher taxes and creates a complex and inefficient government bureaucracy that makes it harder to move forward on other key issues impacting the region.
Long Island’s Downtowns: an Untapped Regional Asset
Policy experts have long lamented Long Island’s single-family sprawl, noting its impact on housing costs, traffic, taxes, loss of open space, and environmental degradation. In the face of these threats to the region’s well-being, there was always a simple answer: this is what people want.
If that once was true, a new Long Island Index study reveals, it is not true now. Most Long Islanders support developing our downtowns with more condominiums, townhouses, and rental apartments. One reason for many: it is where they want to live.
Healthcare Opportunities Vary Tremendously on Long Island
Examining several facets of healthcare on Long Island, including how people pay for medical attention, measures of maternal and perinatal health and risk factors, and indicators of hospitalizations for preventable or treatable conditions, suggests that while the overall picture on average appears to be positive, there are also significant signs of polarized inequality with respect to the health of our population and access to quality care.