County Services and Quality of Life Rate Among Best in Nation

Published on October 23, 2018

Arlington-aerial.jpg According to Arlington's recent Community Satisfaction Survey, 88 percent of residents surveyed are satisfied with the overall quality of County services, 38 percentage points above the national average. The survey assessed resident satisfaction with a wide range of County services and included many of the same questions that were part of the County's past surveys, going back to 2004.

"While overall satisfaction in most cities and counties has decreased over the past 14 years, Arlington County has kept high satisfaction levels," said Jason Morado of ETC Institute, which conducted the survey.

Arlington also rated significantly above the national average for overall quality of life — 86 percent compared with 75 percent.

"We're extremely pleased with the survey results showing overall resident satisfaction with County services, especially the high ratings in public safety and emergency response, parks and recreation, and libraries," said County Manager Mark Schwartz. "And we look forward to digging into the results and working on areas our residents told us are important to improve."

Survey Highlights

  • Satisfaction ratings improved or stayed the same in 10 of the 15 overall areas rated in both 2015 and 2018. Several of these saw significant increases, including: maintenance of County streets (+13 percentage points); effectiveness of communication with the public (+7 percentage points); and customer service from County employees (+6 percent points).

  • While the County saw a significant increase in satisfaction with overall maintenance of streets, this area, along with traffic flow and ease of travel, remain top priorities to improve.

  • Residents feel safe in Arlington County, with 98 percent feeling safe in their neighborhood during the day and 91 percent having an overall feeling of safety in the County.

  • Satisfaction was high with fire, emergency medical and ambulance services (93 percent) as well as police services (85 percent). Residents identified the quality of police services as a top priority.

  • When asked about budget issues, respondents indicated they are most willing to pay an increase in taxes to maintain services for public safety, schools, transportation and public works.

  • Overall satisfaction with the quality of County services is the same in most parts of Arlington.

See more 2018 survey results, including charts and graphs


The statistically valid survey was conducted by ETC Institute, a company that specializes in market research for governmental organizations. The seven-page survey was mailed to a random sample of households in Arlington in August 2018.

The demographics of the sample were very similar to the most recent Census estimates, which indicates the sample is a valid representation of the Arlington community. Renters accounted for more than 40 percent of the respondents.