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Quality of life in Ann Arbor strong, but here’s what concerns residents on 2020 Citizen Survey

The Gallup Park canoe livery in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Gallup Park canoe livery in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Sarah M. Parlette / WDIV)

ANN ARBOR – The city of Ann Arbor released Tuesday the results of its 2020 Citizen Survey, which asked 2,700 randomly selected residents over the summer to share their opinions on quality of life, city services and amenities.

A total of 548 residents provided their opinions in a statistically valid survey, according to the city.

Here’s how they responded to the NCS Community Livability Report:

  • 90% of the respondents rated Ann Arbor as an “excellent” or “good” place to live.
  • 84% of residents felt that the city’s transportation system was an essential or very important for the community in the years ahead.
  • Respondents rated Ann Arbor’s walkability and bus or transit services as “exceptional” and higher than other cities around the country. At least two thirds of respondents rated these factors as “excellent” or “good.”
  • In comparison to other cities, Ann Arborites reported more walking, biking or public transit use instead of driving. However, in the last two years, respondents have said the overall quality and ease of use of the transportation system has declined. They also said the use of public transit over driving was also declining.
  • Respondents rated all aspects of parks and recreation “outstanding.” Overall 9 in 10 residents gave high marks to Ann Arbor parks, higher than the national averages. Availability of walking trails and paths also ranked high -- 12th out of all comparison cities in the U.S.
  • Roughly 8 in 10 residents said the overall economic health of Ann Arbor was strong.
  • Roughly 50% of respondents reported that they hadn’t experienced housing cost stress. This declined since 2018 and was lower than comparison communities across the country.
  • Only 15% of residents rated the cost of living in Ann Arbor as “excellent” or “good.”
  • This year, fewer residents believed the economy would positively benefit their income in the six months following the survey compared to the 2018 survey. This could be due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To see the full Community Livability Report, click here.

To see how the 2020 report compares to the 2018 ratings, click here.

Reports are also available based on demographic and geographic subgroups.

To see the report’s complete survey responses, detailed survey methods, survey and benchmark comparisons, click here.

The National Citizen Survey is a partnership between the International City/County Management Association and National Research Center Inc.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.