January 30, 2023

Dorothy Was Right… There’s No Place Like Home

Results of 2022 resident survey are now available.

Canoes on the shore people fishing

The results of the 2022 City of Virginia Beach Resident Survey were shared with the City Council last week during the council’s bi-annual, two-day retreat and they were great. People love living in Virginia Beach. To review the full results, visit VirginiaBeach.gov/ResidentSurvey.


  • Objectively assess resident satisfaction with the delivery of major City services
  • To help determine priorities for the community
  • To set a baseline for future surveys
  • To compare the City’s performance with other regional and national communities.


Overall, the perception of the City of Virginia Beach is very positive – 90% rated Virginia Beach as an Excellent or Good Place to Live – a much higher rating than most other cities.

Satisfaction with City services in Virginia Beach was also much higher than other communities.

  • Virginia Beach was rated above the U.S. average in 44 of 52 areas.
  • Satisfaction with the overall quality of City services was 25% above the U.S. average.
  • Satisfaction with customer service from City employees was 32% above the U.S. average.

Other key findings from the survey showed that:

  • 81% of residents rated Virginia Beach as an either excellent or good place to raise children
  • 92.5% of residents rated the overall quality of fire services as either excellent or good
  • 79.5% of residents rated the overall quality of police services provided as either excellent or good, 24.9% above the national average
  • 80.1% of residents said they feel safe in the city, which is 12.1% above the national average.

Areas to target for improvement

  • When asked about the adequacy of lighting on City Streets only 51.4% rated it “excellent” or “good.” That’s lower than both the average for the Atlantic Region (63.8%) and the national average of 59.5%.
  • Likewise, the accessibility of streets, sidewalks and buildings for people with disabilities could be better. Only 44.4% of respondents rated it as “excellent” or “good as compared to 57.5% in the Atlantic Region and 52.5% nationally.
  • Enforcement of junk and debris cleanup on private property came in at 42.3% versus 55.3% regionally and 46% nationally.


The City contracted ETC Institute, one of the nation's leading firms in the field of government research and specializing in resident surveys for municipalities. The survey included some standardized questions utilized in communities across the country to allow Virginia Beach to benchmark the city against average ratings in other communities. The survey also included questions developed specifically for Virginia Beach to gain insights on particular issues that impact the local community.

The seven-page surveys (15-20 minutes) were sent by mail and online to a randomly selected sample of City residents. To be statistically significant, ETC needed at least 1,000 residents to complete the survey. Thankfully, the research firm received a little over 1,200 with at least 100 responses being from each of the 10 City Council districts to ensure good representation throughout the city. ETC also designed the survey so that the demographics of respondents were reflective of the actual population in terms of age, race/ethnicity and gender. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 2.8% at a 95% level of confidence.

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