Better Understanding Our Audiences, So We Can Better Serve

Viewing community as a partnership of residents, community-based organizations, businesses and government

We enjoy peace of mind. We are ideally situated.

We set the bar high (on purpose). We welcome and connect.

PROACTIVE. ENTHUSIASTIC. WELCOMING. COLLABORATIVE.

West Chester's 2019-2020 Strategic Plan emphasizes gathering community input. One specific initiative - to participate in the National Citizen Survey (NCS) as a means to determine future community needs and expectations. The NCS is a tried-and-trusted enterprise of National Research Center, Inc. and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and was developed by experts to produce clear, unbiased, actionable results that local government leaders can rely on.


The NCS uses scientific survey methods and best practices of the modern day to guarantee valid findings and puts results into meaningful context. Drawing from the largest resident opinion database of its kind, representing well over 30 million Americans, The NCS compares local results with benchmarks compiled from surveys conducted across the U.S. This benchmarking, community survey provides a comprehensive and accurate picture of livability and resident perspectives about local government services, policies and management.


The NCS report provides the opinions of a representative sample of 402 residents of West Chester. The survey has a 5% margin of error. The survey was funded in part by a Duke Energy Foundation grant.

West Chester residents enjoy a positive quality of life.

Most residents have positive ratings to all aspects of quality of life in West Chester. Almost all residents rated the overall quality of life in West Chester as excellent or good, a rating higher than the national average.


The Economy is important to residents, and ratings are especially strong.

Residents indicated that Economy would be an important area of focus for the community in the next two years and ratings within this category tended to be strong. West Chester residents were more likely to have a positive economic outlook than residents in communities nationwide.


While overall ease of travel shines, alternate modes of travel could be an area of opportunity for improvement.

Mobility was identified by residents as an important area of focus for the community in the next two years and ratings were generally similar to the national averages.

West Chester's Community Livability

The NCS captures resident's opinion within the three pillars of community (Community Characteristics, Governance and Participation) across eight central facets of community (Safety Mobility, Natural Environment, Built Environment, Economy, Recreation and Wellness, Education and Enrichment and Community Engagement).


Below, the color of each community facet summarizes how residents rated community characteristics, governance and participation. When most ratings were higher than the benchmark, the color is the darkest shade; when most ratings were lower than the benchmark, the color is the lightest shade. A mix of ratings (higher and lower) than the benchmark results in a color between the two extremes.


Ratings were generally positive and similar to those given in other communities across the nation; however, the pillar of community characteristics house a vast majority of ratings that were higher than the national comparisons.

Quality of Life

The Quality of Life category yielded high marks with 95% of respondents ranking overall quality of life in West Chester as excellent or good. Shown below are the eight facets of community. The color of each facet summarizes how residents rated it across the three sections of the survey that represent the pillars of a community - Community Characteristics, Governance, and Participation. When most ratings across the three pillars are higher than the benchmark, the color for that facet is the darkest shade; when most ratings were lower than the benchmark, the color is the lightest shade. A mix of ratings, higher and lower than the benchmark, results in a color between the two extremes.


In addition to the summary of ratings, the image below includes one more stars to indicate which community facets were the most important focus areas for the community. Respondents identified Safety, Mobility, and Economy as the priorities for West Chester.

Aspects of Quality of Life

The percent of respondents giving a particular response is shown followed by the number of respondents (denoted with "N=")

Community Characteristics

What makes a community livable, attractive and a place where people want to be?

The Community Characteristics category includes: overall image, neighborhoods, place to raise children, place to retire, and overall appearance.


96% of respondents ranked West Chester as an excellent or good place to live.

The above chart shows survey comparisons to a national benchmark. Ratings higher than the benchmark are the darkest shade; ratings lower than the benchmark are the color in the lightest shade. A mix of ratings, higher and lower than the benchmark, results in a color between the two extremes.

Governance

How well does the government of West Chester meet the needs and expectations of its residents?

The overall quality of services provided by the Township as well as the manner in which these services are provided is a key component of how residents rate their quality of life.


Ratings for the overall direction of the Township and treating residents fairly were higher than those given in other communities across the nation.

Participation

Are West Chester residents connected to the community and each other?

An engaged community harnesses its most valuable resource, its residents. The connections and trust among residents, government, businesses and other organizations help to create a sense of community, a shared sense of membership, belonging and history.


The rate of recommending the Township was higher than national averages while sense of community and likelihood to remain in the community were similar.


West Chester residents were more likely than those who lived elsewhere to have not observed a code violation or not be under housing cost stress as well as to have a positive economic outlook.

Special Topics

West Chester included three questions of special interest on the NCS, including possible focus areas for the Township, reasons for travelling outside of the Township, and reliance on various sources of information about the community.


NCS Survey Results

Complete NCS survey results available here:



Results of the survey were also presented during the November 19, 2019 regular meeting of the West Chester Board of Trustees:


Duke Energy Foundation

A special thank you to Duke Energy. This survey was partially funded by a Duke Energy Foundation grant.