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2016 National Citizen Survey


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Each year, Denver is one of 350 communities across the country that participates in a survey which measures the quality of life for residents. The 2016 National Citizen Survey (NCS) is snapshot in time about how Denver residents from across geographical areas, ethnicities, and ages feel about their city. The survey, conducted in English and Spanish during November and December 2016, captured opinions within three primary pillars of a community: community characteristics, governance, and participation. Eight central facets are observed within these pillars: safety, mobility, natural environment, economy, recreation and wellness, education and enrichment, and community engagement. 

The 2016 NCS indicates that, “ratings for aspects across all three pillars of community livability tended to be strong and similar to ratings seen in other communities nationwide.” Within the pillar of safety, the Denver Police Department’s rating increased from 59% to 64%. Additionally, a majority of residents (81%) rated Denver’s quality of life as excellent or good, 85% rated Denver as an excellent or good place to live, and 88% rated Denver as an excellent or good place to visit. 

However, Denver’s 2016 ratings dipped in several areas, largely related to the city’s steady population growth. These areas include traffic flow, overall ease of travel, and cost of living. Other areas that dipped in ratings include affordable quality healthcare and mental healthcare, adult education, and opportunities to participate in community matters, among others.

  • Approval remains high for the following areas (actual percentage of approval shown):
  • Place to visit (88%)
  • Public libraries (85%)
  • City parks (82%)
  • Recreational opportunities (80%)
  • Health and wellness (75%)
  • Overall natural environment (72%)
  • Overall economic health (72%)

Approval dipped in these areas (percentage shown as decrease from 2015):

  • Child care/pre-school (-12%)
  • Cost of living (-8%)
  • Mental healthcare (-7%)
  • Traffic flow (-7%)
  • Public parking (-6%)
  • Housing options (-5%)
  • Affordable quality housing (-4%)

To read the full report, click the links below: