PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Kenney today announced the results of the 2019-2020 Philadelphia Resident Survey, which measured attitudes on a wide range of City services.
“As our Administration begins its second term, these results shine an invaluable light on the opinions and concerns of Philadelphia residents about how this government serves them,” said Mayor Kenney. “The findings will help us further identify opportunities for improvement, including how we allocate limited taxpayer dollars over these next several years. Your voices are being heard.”
Some of the findings of the survey include:
- City services rated as Excellent or Good by a majority of residents included fire services (76 percent), recycling services (53 percent), quality of drinking water (51 percent), and quality of parks (48 percent).
- Streets, Police and Public Safety (including police, fire, traffic enforcement, EMS, and emergency preparedness), in that order, ranked as the top three services that residents want to see the City prioritize.
- More than 75 percent of residents surveyed rated “overall” City services as Excellent, Good, or Fair. However, those ratings decreased slightly, and Poor ratings increased, since the previous survey of 2016-2017.
- Slightly less than half of Philadelphia residents (48 percent) believe services provided by police are Excellent or Good, with the same percentage reporting that police services are Fair or Poor. This represents a slight decline in positive ratings compared to the previous survey.
- Only about one in five residents rated street conditions as Excellent or Good; the majority rated street conditions as Fair (29 percent) or Poor (46 percent). These perceptions stayed relatively unchanged since the 2016-2017 survey.
- Residents are nearly split on the quality of trash collection, with about half rating it as Excellent or Good, and the other half rating it as Fair or Poor.
- Nearly two-thirds of Philadelphians reported that they could easily travel between their home and their job.
- White residents were much more likely to agree that they felt safe in their neighborhood than Black or Hispanic residents.
- Philadelphia residents of color were more likely to rate police approachability as Poor compared to White residents.
- Similar disparities in responses along racial lines were apparent in several other survey questions, including “Quality of Housing,” “Quality of Drinking Water,” and “Quality of Parks.”
- Code violations, such as graffiti, litter, vacant lots and abandoned buildings, are a major concern among those surveyed, particularly among residents of color.
Copies of the full survey report can be found at https://www.phila.gov/documents/philadelphia-resident-survey-report/, along with the previous survey conducted in 2016-17. The 2016-17 survey was the first of the Kenney Administration, and the first general survey conducted by the City in a decade. That survey, released in the Fall of 2017, helped inform the Mayor’s priorities for Fiscal Year 2019 budget and Five Year Plan, released the following March. This included new funds for repaving, sanitation and more police officers. Similarly, these latest findings will help determine spending priorities for the Fiscal Year 2021 and the Five Year Plan that the Mayor will deliver to City Council on March 5, 2020.
“These results are the culmination of a citywide, highly engaged process to ensure we’re understanding what issues are impacting Philadelphians,” said Anjali Chainani, Director of the Mayor’s Policy Office, which oversaw the survey. “This Administration recognizes that in 2020, no government should rely purely on anecdotal feedback. Decisions need to be data-driven, and this survey is part of that process in Philadelphia.”
In the survey, a scientific and random sample of Philadelphia households were invited by mail to participate, using a specific Participant ID. In addition, all Philadelphia residents, ages 18 and older, were invited to participate in the survey without a Participant ID by visiting www.PHLsurvey.com. Paper surveys were also made available at Police Athletic League centers, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation centers and Free Library of Philadelphia branches. Residents also could participate in the survey by phone.
The survey was available in English, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese. It opened on August 3, 2019 and closed on November 14, 2019. In all, the survey report includes responses from 11,370 Philadelphia residents. Results were weighted to 2018 ACS data from the U.S. Census Bureau to more closely match the City’s racial, ethnic, and educational breakdowns.
The survey was conducted by the Mayor’s Policy Office with support from the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement, the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Services, and the Office of Performance Management. Temple University’s Institute for Survey Research (ISR) helped develop and administer the survey.