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2023 Community Survey Results Highlight Residents’ Perceptions of Quality of Life, Community Challenges

Results of the fourth biennial city-wide survey were presented at the July 26 meeting of the Bloomington City Council. As in 2019 and 2017, the randomized, scientifically valid survey conducted in March and April of this year gave residents the opportunity to provide feedback on their general perceptions of the quality of life in Bloomington; to evaluate City programs, services, government performance; and to identify projects or issues facing the City.  Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton began the city-wide surveys in 2017 to grow public engagement, increase transparency, establish a baseline of public opinion, and acquire data to inform decisions about resource deployment. A complete report of the 2023 community survey is available here.  


“The data show a consistency across time in folks’ sense of our community’s excellent quality of life and what we treasure most. And they rightly point to the issues we continue to work on,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “These data can be employed to pinpoint needs in the community and guide us to deploy resources to address them. With four cycles now completed, we’re building a great data set to inform the work of our city into the future. I’m particularly proud of the high regard our residents have for our dedicated City employees. 


Key findings of the 2023 survey include: 


  • Bloomington residents continue to have a positive quality of life.
  • Overall opportunities for education contribute to the quality of life in Bloomington.
  • Homelessness remains a City challenge.
  • Some safety-related rankings have decreased since 2021.
  • Community engagement in Bloomington remains high.
  • City-wide high-speed internet access is a top priority.
  • While ratings for government performance have declined since 2021, residents are highly satisfied with Bloomington City staff.
  • Local online news and media outlets are at the top of residents’ sources of information.


As in previous years, the City of Bloomington contracted with the National Research Center (NRC) at Polco to conduct the 2023 survey, which captured opinions of a representative sample of 3,000 randomly selected resident households starting in March 2023. A total of 367 surveys were completed, yielding a response rate of 13%. In addition to the random sample survey, a link to a non-scientific open participation survey was publicized by the City through various channels. The open participation survey was identical to the random sample survey and open to all Bloomington residents. A total of 557 open participation surveys were completed and their results compiled separately for review.