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County Releases 2013 Citizen Survey Results

Overall Quality of Life Rankings Remain High

Albemarle County is releasing results of its 2013 Citizen Survey which indicates that citizens continue to rate overall quality of life in the County very high. According to the survey’s Executive Summary, “Most residents experienced a good quality of life in Albemarle County and believed the county was a good place to live.” The overall quality of life in Albemarle County was rated as “excellent” or “good” by 92% of respondents, which is “much above” the national comparison to other localities included in the survey. Highlights of survey are listed below, and a complete copy of the survey results is available HERE. The public is invited to see a display of survey results in the 2nd floor lobby of the County Office Building during the Wednesday, August 7th Board of Supervisors meeting.

The National Citizen Survey™ (The NCS) is a collaborative effort between National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). The NCS was developed by NRC to provide a statistically valid survey of resident opinions about community and services provided by local government. The survey results may be used by staff, elected officials and other stakeholders for community planning and resource allocation, program improvement and policy making. The timing of this survey provides results that will inform both the County’s strategic and ongoing planning processes.

Participating household were selected at random and multiple mailings were provided to give households more than one chance to participate. Results were statistically weighted to reflect the proper demographic composition of the community. There were 376 completed surveys, which is a response rate of 33%. This is a representative sample and the results of this survey are statistically valid within a margin of error of plus or minus 5% points.


  • Most residents note a good quality of life in Albemarle County – Quality of life was rated “excellent” or “good” by 92% of the respondents. 
  • Residents demonstrate strong trust in County government:
    • A majority rated the overall direction being taken by Albemarle County as “good” or “excellent.”  
    • Most residents who interacted with County employees in the last 12 months rated their impression as “excellent” or “good” 
  • Residents gave favorable ratings to a majority of County services.  Of the 41 services for which comparisons were available, 19 were above the national benchmark comparison, 17 were similar to the national benchmark comparison and five were below.
  • Residents are civically engaged:
    • 97% had provided help to a friend or neighbor in the previous 12 months A majority had volunteered their time to some group or activity in Albemarle County, which was much higher than the national benchmark.
    • The most popular activities frequently participated in by respondents within Albemarle County included providing help to a friend or neighbor and visiting a neighborhood park or County park.
  • The most favorable ratings for “characteristics of the community” were:
    • The County’s overall image or reputation
    • The County’s overall appearance
    • The County’s overall quality of its natural environment
  • The least favorable ratings for “characteristics of the community” were:
    • Traffic flow
    • Ease of bus travel
    • Ease of rail or subway travel 
    • Of the 32 characteristics for which comparisons were available, 20 were above the national benchmark comparison, three were similar to the national benchmark comparison and nine were below.
  • When compared to the 2011 survey, ratings increased for snow removal, the variety of housing options, employment opportunities, economic development and the openness and acceptance of the community toward people of diverse backgrounds.

Click here to view the report in its entirety.

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