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2022 National Community Survey™ Results Show Quality of Life Remains High, though Cost of Living and Housing Affordability Concerns Remain

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September 15, 2022 - ​In June and July, 2,800 randomly selected residents were asked to provide opinions on city services, amenities and their quality of life in Ann Arbor via the National Community Survey™ (NCS). The City of Ann Arbor has conducted this statistically valid survey bi-annually since 2008 to capture opinions of a representative sample of Ann Arbor residents. 

According to the NCS, “Overall quality of community life represents the natural ambience, services and amenities that make for an attractive community." The NCS notes how residents rate their overall quality of life is an indicator of the overall health of a community. In the case of Ann Arbor, 93% rated the city as an “excellent" or “good" place to live.

Other results from the survey include:

  • The natural environment remains a community asset. About nine in 10 residents rated the overall quality of the natural environment as excellent or good, a mark similar to both the national benchmark and previous survey iterations. Residents also continued to rate cleanliness, water resources and air quality highly, with at least eight in 10 residents offering positive reviews. Of these, water resources was rated higher than the national average, while the others were on par with benchmark-comparison communities. The preservation of natural areas (78% excellent or good), Ann Arbor open space (76%), and yard waste pick-up services (84%) all ranked higher than national benchmarks.

  • The city's parks and recreational opportunities are highly valued by residents. All survey items related to parks and recreation in Ann Arbor ranked higher than national benchmarks and remained stable since 2020. Nearly all residents (94%) rated the overall quality of parks and recreation opportunities as excellent or good. The availability of paths and walking trails, fitness opportunities and recreational opportunities were all reviewed positively by nearly 90% of residents. Similarly, Ann Arbor's city parks, recreation programs or classes, and recreation centers or facilities received high marks from more than eight in 10 residents.

  • Ratings for city services and public trust are on the rise. Since 2020, many governance ratings have significantly increased. The value of services for the taxes paid to Ann Arbor was rated positively by six in 10 residents, increasing by about 9% over the city's previous survey iteration. Likewise, the overall direction that Ann Arbor is taking received favorable reviews from about two-thirds of residents (up from 58% in 2020). Other ratings that increased significantly since 2020 included the city generally acting in the best interest of the community, being open and transparent to the public, and treating all residents with respect. All aspects of Ann Arbor's governance were on par with the nation. While still similar to national benchmarks, public information services was identified as a potential area of improvement for the city, as positive ratings for this survey item continue to decline over time.

Previous survey results (2007, 2008, 2013, 2015, 2018 and 2022) are available on the city website, www.a2gov.org, as PDF reports. The 2022 survey results are available in a new online portal format at https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/polco.nrc/viz/TheNCSReport-AnnArborMI2022/About.   

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Media Contact Information

Lisa Wondrash
Communications Director
[email protected]


Ann Arbor has 123,851 residents, spans 28.97 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit. To keep up with City of Ann Arbor information, subscribe for email updates, and follow the city on Twitter and Facebook. The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.