September 20, 2018 - During July and August, the City of Ann Arbor conducted The National Citizen Survey™ (NCS), which is administered as a collaborative effort between the National Research Center Inc. (NRC) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). The statistically valid survey captured opinions of a representative sample of 706 residents of the city of Ann Arbor.
According to the NCS Community Livability Report, “Overall quality of community life represents the natural ambience, services and amenities that make for an attractive community." How residents rate their overall quality of life is an indicator of the overall health of a community. In the case of Ann Arbor, 94 percent rated the city as an “excellent" or “good" place to live.
Other results from the Community Livability Report included:
- Almost all survey participants (97 percent) rated Ann Arbor as an excellent or good place to raise children, which outshined national comparisons.
- 8 in 10 residents indicated they had not reported a crime or been the victim of a crime. Further, respondents who had contact with a member of the Ann Arbor Police Department in the 12 months prior to the survey felt positively about their interaction, with at least three-quarters rating the various aspects related to the conduct of that officer as excellent or good.
- As in previous years, Ann Arbor residents identified the economy as one of the top community focus areas for the coming two years.
- The cost of living and affordable housing were rated favorably by less than one-fourth of residents. These ratings lagged behind other communities across the nation and decreased since 2015.
- In 2018, more respondents were appreciative of the overall ease of travel and ease of walking (which eclipsed ratings awarded nationwide). Bus or transit services were also rated higher in Ann Arbor than elsewhere.
- Most residents indicated they would increase their driving times to reduce pedestrian, cyclist and motorist crashes, injuries and deaths, with about one-quarter reporting they would substantially increase their driving time to prevent accidents.
- As in years past, reviews for street repairs were lower than national averages and should remain an area of focus to maintain high standards of mobility in Ann Arbor.
“I'm pleased with the quality of the National Citizen Survey, and I believe the statistically valid results emphasize that Ann Arbor is truly a great place to live and work," said City of Ann Arbor Administrator Howard Lazarus. “However, the results also emphasized work that needs to continue in regards to street repair, housing affordability, mobility and outreach and engagement of all residents to ensure we remain a welcoming and inclusionary city."
The survey and its administration are standardized to assure high quality research methods and directly comparable results across the NCS communities. The NCS has administered the survey more than 1,000 times in 350 different municipalities throughout the United States. The survey captures residents' opinions within three pillars of a community — Community Characteristics, Governance and Participation — and across eight central facets of a community, including Safety, Mobility, Natural Environment, Built Environment, Economy, Recreation and Wellness, Education and Enrichment and Community Engagement.
Previous survey results (2007, 2008, 2013 and 2015) are available on the city's website. The 2018 survey results include the following reports:
Community Livability Report (PDF): This report is the most universal and summarizes all the results and key findings. This report captures what makes a community livable, attractive and a place where people want to be.
Dashboard Summary of Findings (PDF): A summary of resident ratings across eight facets and three pillars of a livable community.
Comparisons by Demographic (PDF) and Geographic (PDF) Subgroups.
Trends over Time (PDF): This report compares 2018 ratings to previous survey results.
Technical Appendices (PDF): Complete survey responses, benchmark comparisons, detailed survey methods and survey materials.
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