2023 Community Survey

Survey Results

The City and Polco, the survey administrator, will share the results of the survey at a City Council Workshop on Monday, October 9, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. at the Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle Street.

Purpose: The 2021 Naperville Priorities Plan recommended that the City conduct a statistically valid resident survey every two or three years to provide decision-makers with an assessment of resident satisfaction. Naperville last completed a community survey in 2016. Previous surveys were completed in 2012, 2008 and 2006. The Community Survey relates to Naperville’s mission statement: To provide services that ensure a high quality of life, sound fiscal management, and a dynamic business environment, while creating an inclusive community that values diversity.

Process:The City has contracted with Polco to complete this year’s community survey. Polco administers the National Community Survey, which more than 500 local government entities use to measure resident satisfaction levels and perceptions. There were two survey types:

1) The Sampled Survey – Randomly Selected Households was opened from July 5 – August 16

A random sampling of community households was selected to participate from a comprehensive list of residential addresses to reduce bias and obtain feedback from all areas in Naperville. Polco mailed the sampled group a postcard with a link and unique access code and a paper survey packet. Residents selected for the sampled survey could have filled out the survey in either format.

2) The Open Participation Survey – All Naperville Residents was opened from August 2 – August 16

This survey was open to all Naperville residents and identical to the Sampled Survey except that it asked which area of Naperville the respondent lives in. Polco will include the Open Participation Survey results separately from the Sampled Survey in the final report.


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.

Why is The NCS broken down into two surveys?
● The sampled survey was designed to be as representative as possible of the population of the county. A sampling of community households are selected to participate, and they are randomly selected from a comprehensive list of residential addresses as an effort to reduce bias and get feedback from all areas within the community. The sampled group was mailed a paper invitation and survey packet, though they could have opted to fill out the survey online. Their link is unique to their household. This effort is to gather accurate data from the residents who make up our community today.

● The open participation survey was offered to all residents so each voice in the community could be heard. This survey was hosted online only. It was identical to the sampled survey except that it asked if someone was a resident of the community.

How can I be assured that my feedback was anonymous?
● This is a confidential survey conducted by an outside firm, so your identity is completely secure. https://info.polco.us/your-privacy

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.

Could people have shared their survey link with another person?
● If someone received a postcard invitation and paper survey in the mail, then this survey had a unique link for randomly selected households only and should not have been shared.
● Naperville encouraged everyone to share the open participation survey link with their neighbors. 


Relevant Links: