Community Survey

Municipalities use community surveys to gather information on residents’ level of satisfaction with City services and to gather residents’ opinions regarding various other topics. Input received helps City leaders know where they are doing well and where they can improve, to make certain they are making decisions that align to the needs of residents and prioritizing services that will positively impact the community.

The community survey issued in 2017 sought resident input on a broad range of services and issues that helped inform goals and values outlines within the 2018-2022 Strategic Principles and Priorities. The 2017 community survey was administered by ETC Institute, and you can view that full report here.

During the summer of 2021, ETC Institute administered another survey to Elgin residents. The 2021 survey was comprised of approximately 85% of the same questions asked in the 2017 survey, allowing the City to measure satisfaction and priorities within the community over time, as well as the progress of organizational goals. The survey was mailed to a random sample of 3,500 households in the City with the goal of obtaining 500 surveys responses. This was accomplished, with a total of 501 surveys being completed from a both demographically and geographically representative sample. The overall survey findings have a precision of at least +/- 4.3% at the 95% level of confidence.

Aerial view of downtown Elgin

2021 Community Survey Findings

ETC’s survey shows Elgin residents have a positive perception of the City, with 75% rating Elgin as an “excellent” or “good” place to live and only 8% giving a rating of "below average or poor." Elgin rated at or above the national average in 40 of 54 areas. When it comes to customer service, Elgin rated 13% higher than the national average.

The community’s top priorities are maintenance of streets, sidewalks and infrastructure along with enforcement of codes and ordinances (consistent with the 2017 survey results). The top three issues residents believe the City will face over the next five years are homelessness (60%), affordable City services (property taxes) (58%) and public safety (57%). The survey’s confidence level is cited at 95 percent with a margin of error of plus or minus four percent, so any changes under 5% are not considered statistically significant.

View ETC's 2021 Elgin Community Survey Findings Report

View the video of ETC's August 25, 2021 Presentation to city council of the survey findings (or presentation slides). 


The 2021 Community Survey Findings Report is based ontake the survey button Opens in new window the random sample. The survey has now been opened to the public through September 10, so anyone not selected as part of the random sample has the option to share his or her opinions with the City.

Explore 2021 survey data on ETC Institute's interactive dashboard.

Community Survey Interactive Dashboard Opens in new window