2023 Community Survey

In 2023, the City of Naperville surveyed residents to better understand the community’s needs and perspectives. The Bridge to 2023 Priorities Plan recommended that the City conduct a statistically valid resident survey every two or three years to provide an assessment of resident satisfaction. The 2023 Community Survey captured opinions on the quality of life, economy, utilities, education, inclusivity, engagement and more. The survey results are available in two locations:

The NCS Report - Naperville, IL 2023 - Tableau

The NCS Report - Naperville, IL 2023 - PDF

The City partnered with Polco, a social science research firm specializing in gathering and analyzing information for public sector entities, for the survey. Polco administers the National Community Survey, which compares local results with benchmarks compiled from surveys conducted across the U.S.

The survey’s key findings, as determined by survey researchers at Polco, include:

  • Naperville residents enjoy an exceptional quality of life. At least 95% of residents positively rated the overall quality of life in Naperville.
  • Residents appreciate opportunities for education, arts and culture in the City, with 94% of Naperville residents giving excellent or good marks to the overall opportunities.
  • Naperville residents experience a vibrant local economy and applaud Naperville as a great place to work. Over nine in 10 Naperville residents offered high marks for the City's overall economic health.
  • Trust in local government performance is high, and residents feel included in their community. All survey questions relating to local government performance received ratings that exceeded national averages: around eight in 10 residents gave excellent or good marks to Naperville government.
  • Naperville residents value the City’s outdoor amenities and parks and recreation opportunities. The facets of National Environment and Parks and Recreation were rated as high in quality by about nine in 10 residents, and as high in importance by about eight in 10.

The National Community Survey™ (NCS) in Naperville

Polco conducted the National Community Survey from July 5 to August 16, 2023. A probability-based sample of 3,000 randomly selected households was mailed a survey with a passcode-protected response. A total of 612 responses were received, resulting in an overall response rate of 21%.

In addition to the mailed survey, a non-probability, open-participation survey was also available online. A total of 675 responses were received to the online survey. The results of the two surveys were statistically weighted to reflect Naperville overall. Weighting is a survey research best practice and helps to improve the representativeness of the survey results. The report is based on the results of the 612 responses from the random sample, mail-based survey.

The NCS has a 95% confidence interval with a +/- 4% margin of error. This means that survey researchers can be 95% confident that the survey results are accurate to within 4% of the true population value.

City Council Workshop: Oct. 9, 2023

On Oct. 9, 2023, a Polco representative presented the community survey results during the Workshop: Community Survey Results and Review of the Conflict Ordinance.

City Council Presentation Slides - Oct. 9, 2023


What is The National Community Survey (The NCS)?

  • Developed over 20 years ago and continually refined, The NCS is a survey of resident opinion that provides robust benchmark comparisons among communities across the nation. It has been used in more than 500 jurisdictions across 46 states. Communities using The NCS have reported that the tool improved service delivery, strengthened communications with community stakeholders, and helped leaders identify clear priorities for use in strategic planning and budget setting. It is the only resident survey endorsed by the International City/County Management Association and the National League of Cities.

What is Polco?

  • Polco is an online community engagement polling platform that is conducting The NCS. Polco launches surveys and analyzes the data, providing local governments and other public sector leaders with important information needed to make decisions within the community. Hundreds of organizations nationwide use Polco for strategic planning, budgeting, and empowering resident voices.

Did the survey contain leading questions or bias with the way questions are worded?

  • Every effort was made to pose questions as neutrally as possible. The team of survey scientists put a tremendous amount of thought into this when developing the main survey. Because all opinions are welcome, the questions needed to be a blend of easy-to-understand, simple to respond to, and neutral in the way they were asked. There are many methods with which this is accomplished, but one of the more noticeable ones are questions with "if at all" contained in the question.

For example: "How much of a priority, if at all, should it be for Naperville to focus on the following initiatives?” was a neutral way of presenting the question, making it as easy to answer positively as it is negatively.