Tom Butt
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  2017 Richmond Community Survey Reports
October 4, 2017

Every two years since 2007, the City of Richmond has worked with the National Research Center (NRC) to conduct a community survey to help city officials evaluate services, measure resident satisfaction/use of current services, benchmark ratings for services provided by the City, and help plan for Richmond’s future. In 2017, surveys were mailed out to 3,000 randomly selected and geographically dispersed Richmond households. We also provided an opportunity for ALL residents to provide feedback through an online survey that could be completed  in English or Spanish. A total of 568 completed surveys were obtained (mail-in and online) with a margin error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The survey results are included in the following seven (7) reports which are defined below (as described in the “Guide to Understanding and Using Your Reports”) and can be accessed at

  • Guide to Understanding and Using Your Reports - This document is written so that the City can receive guidance about how to understand all aspects of the reports, and also so that City can explain to others how the reports are organized and what they mean.
  • Trends over Time- This report offers a high level view of how City of Richmond resident perspectives and behaviors have changed from 2007 to 2017. The report also reveals how the City’s rankings have changed as relative to the national benchmark.
  • Community Livability Report- This report summarizes all of the results and key findings. It is brief, attractive and accessible, making it a central public document.  The majority of results are compared to a national benchmark.
  • Dashboard Summary of Findings- This report offers a simplified (“rolled up”) quantitative view of the data, as well as comparison details for each question over time and to the national benchmark.
  • Demographic Subgroup Report - This report disaggregates the survey results by: (1) number of years in Richmond, (2) household income, (3) race, (4) ethnicity and (5) age
  • Geographic Comparison Report - This report disaggregates the survey results based on seven (7) clusters of neighborhoods
  • Technical Appendices- The appendices include the details about survey methods, individual response options selected for each question – with and without the “don’t know” option – and detailed benchmark results. This document speaks to the credibility of data and the most granular detail of results.

Below are a few high-level findings from the reports:

  • Overall Image of Richmond - The rating for the overall image as “excellent” or “good” increased from 8% in 2015 to 14% in 2017. This is a significant increase from 4% in 2007.
  • General Trend - Of the 131 survey questions that were asked (does not include custom questions developed by the City of Richmond), we see an increase in ratings between 2015 and 2017 for approximately 56% or 74 of the questions asked and a decrease in ratings for 44% or 57 of the questions asked. However, the majority of the positive and negative changes between 2015 and 2017 are not statistically significant meaning that the percentage change was less than 6%.
  • Top 5 Issues for the City to Address in the Next 2 Years - Residents believed it was “essential” or “very important” for the City to address the following issues (top 5):  (1) reducing crime – 95%, (2) improving environmental quality - 86%, (3) improving street paving conditions – 85%, (4) addressing blighted properties – 80%, and (5) improving park conditions – 80%
  • Richmond as a Place to Live (residents rated it as “excellent” or “good”) – 47% of residents rated Richmond as a place to live as either excellent or good which is a significant increase from 20% rating it in the same manner in 2007

The presentation on the 2017 Community Survey results is tentatively scheduled for October 24th. I will present additional findings at that time. Feel free to contact me with any questions.