2012 Citizens Survey Results


Cambridge City Hall -photo by Bob Coe

In the 2012 City of Cambridge Citizens Survey, 94% of respondents rated “Overall Quality of Life” in Cambridge as good or excellent and 75% rated Overall Performance of City Government as good or excellent. Core City services continued to earn high marks as indicated in prior surveys. The Quality of Cambridge Public Schools earned a 65% ranking as good or excellent. In fact, the excellent rating for Cambridge schools jumped 8 points since 2010, going from 15% to 23%, with combined good/excellent Education ratings jumping by 25 points.

In a report to the City Council this week, City Manager Robert W. Healy said, “The results should be very encouraging to City Councillors, department heads and city staff.  They indicate that Cambridge citizens today are more positive about nearly all aspects of their city government than ever before.”

Question 1 – “the most important issue facing Cambridge today,” remains Education.  The percentage ranking for this number 1 concern has increased by 1%, from 13% in September 2010 to 14% in 2012. Concern about Education is followed by concerns for the economy (9%), crime (8%) and affordable housing (8%). This is similar to the results in 2010, though in earlier surveys housing issues were more prominent. The percentage of citizens citing taxes as the most important continues to dwindle and is now at 2%.

The highest increases in the Good/Excellent categories, in addition to Education are:

Quality of Schools +25
Economic Development +17
As a Place to Retire +16
City Gov’t/Overall Performance +15
Access to Affordable Housing +15
Place to Raise a Child +15
Air Quality +14
Job Opportunities +11
Balance of Construction/Neighborhoods +11
Ability to Get Around Town +8
Overall Appearance +8
Race Welcoming +7
As A Place to Live +7
Open Space/Recreation +6
Overall Quality of Life +6
A Safe Place to Live +6
Sense of Community +6

The Citizen Survey has been conducted biannually since 2000. The survey methodology is a statistically valid random telephone survey of residents. Questions cover a range of issues dealing with city services. Survey results serve as a useful tool in identifying priority focus areas for the administration and the City Council. 

Link here to complete survey.

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Cambridge City Hall

795 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge MA, 02139
Ph: 617-349-4000
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Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Richard C. Rossi
City Manager

Lisa C. Peterson
Deputy City Manager