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Charlotte rates favorably in 2014 National Citizen Survey

Monday, April 14, 2014

The City of Charlotte released the results from the 2014 National Citizen Survey showing that 88 percent of respondents rate Charlotte excellent or good as a place to live and 80 percent of respondents feel that the overall quality of life in Charlotte is excellent or good. 

  • 86 percent of respondents are very or somewhat likely to remain in Charlotte for the next five years
  • 90 percent are very or somewhat likely to recommend living in Charlotte to someone else

Other key findings include a sense of safety, and a majority of positive ratings for the fire and police departments: 

  • 86 percent feel very or somewhat safe in their neighborhood
  • 82 percent feel very or somewhat safe in uptown
  • 73 percent rate fire services as excellent or good
  • 68 percent rate police services as excellent or good
Other services with positive responses include garbage collection, recycling, water services and sewer services.
The areas highlighting the City’s challenges relate mainly to travel mobility in the city, which is a focus of the Community Investment Program and the 2014 scheduled bond referendum:
  • 26 percent rate traffic flow on major streets as poor
  • 24 percent rate ease of walking as poor
  • 21 percent rate ease of bicycle travel as poor
  • 20 percent rate street repair as poor
  • 19 percent rate traffic signal timing as poor
  • 19 percent rate street lighting as poor
Overall, City services received a positive rating of 62 percent, compared to positive ratings of 38 percent for North Carolina government and 34 percent for the federal government.
Charlotte compared its responses to 44 other cities with populations between 200,000 and 2.5 million and mostly found the ratings in Charlotte to be consistent with peer cities. However, Charlotte rated higher than the benchmark in eight areas:
  • Working inside city boundaries
  • Overall image or reputation of Charlotte
  • Overall appearance of Charlotte
  • Safety in Uptown 
  • Not experiencing housing stress
  • Economic outlook
  • Participation in religious or spiritual activities
  • Volunteerism

Charlotte rated lower than its peer cities in four areas:

  • Ease of walkability
  • Frequency of walking or biking instead of driving
  • Emergency preparedness 
  • Water conservation
This is the first year the City has participated in the National Research Center survey, and the first survey on overall City services conducted by the City of Charlotte since 2008.
“It is important to have real data to know how we are doing serving the public,” noted City Manager Ron Carlee. “This survey will serve as a benchmark against which we can judge our progress going forward.”
“Overall, the survey confirms that people love living in Charlotte and that they value the quality of life here,” said Carlee. “The ratings on City services are mostly consistent with our peers, but our goal is to be better than our peers. The survey helps us to identify areas for improvement and areas for celebration.”
Charlotte’s 2014 National Citizen Survey was administered by the National Research Center, which works in partnership with the International City and County Management Association as well as the National League of Cities. The survey was sent to a random sample of 3,000 households within the city limits during the months of November and December 2013, with 400 completed surveys returned, yielding a 95 percent confidence interval.
The National Citizen Survey report and City staff’s presentation to the Council can be found online here.