City of Alexandria Announces Findings from 2017 Resident Survey

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City of Alexandria Announces Findings from 2017 Resident Survey

For Immediate Release: April 25, 2017

The City of Alexandria has announced results of the 2017 Resident Survey, which measures residents’ satisfaction with City programs and services, and other key indicators. The survey, developed in conjunction with the National Research Center and the International City and County Managers’ Association, included questions specific to Alexandria needs as well as standardized questions to allow comparison to national benchmarks.

Nearly 700 households returned responses of the 3,000 randomly selected to receive the survey, allowing for a statistically significant and representative results. The survey, which was also completed in December 2016, is conducted annually to measure resident satisfaction.

“The results of this survey were generally very positive with high livability, economy and safety scores, as well as positive, improving views of the value of services for taxes paid,” said City Manager Mark Jinks. “The City uses this survey as an accountability tool to see where we are doing well and where improvements need to be made. It is gratifying to see the hard work of so many City staff result in such positive results.”

The survey’s key findings included the following:

Livability: Most residents (95%) rated Alexandria as an “excellent” or “good” place to live.  Overall quality of life was rated at 89%, an improvement from last year. Satisfaction for Alexandria’s overall appearance, neighborhoods, and overall image were all rated above 80%. However, housing affordability and cost of living remain challenges for many City residents. Satisfaction ratings for both categories were below 25%, which is lower than the average of comparator communities.

City Government: Resident satisfaction with the City government improved from last year.  Increased ratings were reported in the areas of: the value of services for taxes paid (up 9% to 60%), the overall direction of the government (up 8% to 67%), honesty in government (up 8% to 66%), fair treatment of residents (up 9% to 62%), and tax collection services (up 14% to 77%).

Safety: Overall, residents reported feeling safe in their communities, with 96% feeling safe in their neighborhood and 97% feeling safe in Old Town. Community policing results were positive, with three-quarters of residents positively rating the Police Department’s collaboration, responsiveness, and relationships with the community. Animal control was rated higher than in comparison communities.  

Mobility: Residents reported improvements in mobility around the city, as well as some challenges.  Ratings for satisfaction in and use of public transportation, buses, walking, and paths were rated higher than comparator communities. Residents gave city street signs a satisfaction rating of 83%, an improvement since last year. While satisfaction in public parking was rated at 34% and was below comparators, the rating is an improvement from last year.  

Economy: Overall, Alexandria’s economy was highly rated, with many aspects rated higher than those of comparator communities, including the vibrancy of Alexandria’s downtown area (79%), and Alexandria as a place to visit (92%), work (81%), and shop (77%).

Recreation and Libraries: Resident satisfaction in public libraries and City parks were rated above 80%, in line with comparator communities. Satisfaction in cultural arts and music activities was rated by residents above comparators at 74%. However, use of City recreation centers and program satisfaction decreased from last year’s level. The rating for resident recreation center use, 45%, is below that of comparator communities.

The results of this survey will be used to guide the City’s budget process, track progress on the City’s Strategic Plan, and provide data for performance reports. To view the survey report, visit

For media inquiries, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at or 703.746.3959.

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This news release is available at