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2006 Citizen Survey Results

FORT COLLINS AS A COMMUNITY

Using a scale ranging from very bad to very good, respondents gave mean ratings1 of good to Fort Collins as a place to raise children, a place to attend college and a place to retire. They also gave the community a mean rating of good overall, as a place to live (Figure 1). These ratings have been consistently good since the survey’s inception in 2001, with no statistically significant2 variation from survey to survey.

The 2006 survey asked respondents, for the first time, to rate the overall economic health of Fort Collins. Nearly all respondents (97%) expressed an opinion. As a group, they gave it a grade of average (Figure 1). The majority of all respondents (57%) rated overall economic health as average or lower (Table 1), with respondents between the ages of 25 and 65 rating it the lowest.

Respondent comments help to shed some light on the issue of economic health. Nearly five percent (4.8%) of respondents wrote that the City needs to attract business and promote the growth of high-paying jobs, and nearly three percent (2.8%) said that the City should be more business-friendly.

Despite this apparent concern, how respondents rate the economic health of Fort Collins has very little relationship with how they rate the community as a place to live, a place to raise children or as a place to retire. The survey data show very low correlation or relationship between ratings for economic health and the others.

City of Fort Collins Image
0 to 12 = very bad, 13 to 37 = bad, 38 to 62 = average, 63 to 87 = good, 88 to 100 = very good
Table 1
OVERALL COMMUNITY RATINGS
  Very Good Good Average Bad Very Bad No Opinion
As a place to raise children 35.4% 39.4% 12.0% 0.8% 0.3% 12.2%
As a place to attend college 34.5% 43.4% 10.6% 0.9% 0.3% 10.4%
As a place to retire 31.2% 36.4% 17.2% 4.3% 1.1% 9.8%
Overall economic health of Fort Collins 3.8% 34.7% 42.5% 11.8% 3.1% 3.2%
Overall, as a place to live 33.0% 50.3% 15.3% 0.6% 0.3% 0.6%

The survey also asked respondents to rate Fort Collins on several specific attributes, shown in Figure 2 and Table 2. Nearly all of these items were either newly added to the 2006 survey or substantially revised from past surveys. Respondents rated most of the attributes as good. They gave mean ratings lower than good to two attributes.

The highest ratings, in the good range, were given to:

  • Availability and diversity of recreational opportunities
  • Availability and diversity of dining
  • Quality of public schools

The next highest ratings, in the good range, were given to:

  • Availability and diversity of entertainment
  • Availability and diversity of cultural activities
  • Availability and diversity of shopping
  • Community respect and tolerance for all people

The lowest ratings, in the average range, were given to:

  • Availability and diversity of job opportunities
  • Availability of affordable housing

The majority of respondents rated each of these two items as average or below (Table 2), similar to their opinions of the community’s overall economic health.

City of Fort Collins Image

0 to 12 = very bad, 13 to 37 = bad, 38 to 62 = average, 63 to 87 = good, 88 to 100 = very good

TABLE 2
COMMUNITY ATTRIBUTE RATINGS
  Very Good Good Average Bad Very Bad No Opinion
Availability and diversity of recreational opportunities 38.7% 43.4% 13.1% 0.9% 0.6% 3.3%
Availability and diversity of dining 40.3% 41.5% 13.7% 1.9% 0.8% 1.8%
Quality of public schools 25.1% 37.3% 14.4% 1.8% 0.9% 20.6%
Availability and diversity of entertainment 13.4% 48.1% 28.5% 4.2% 1.0% 4.8%
Availability and diversity of cultural activities 12.7% 43.3% 30.7% 5.6% 0.5% 7.3%
Availability and diversity of shopping 16.3% 40.5% 31.6% 7.6% 2.0% 2.0%
Community respect and tolerance for all people 13.1% 38.4% 36.6% 6.7% 1.7% 3.4%
Availability and diversity of job opportunities 1.9% 19.7% 36.9% 15.8% 4.5% 21.2%
Availability of affordable housing 2.3% 10.7% 35.4% 33.0% 8.5% 10.2%

1In order to make valid comparisons between the ratings for different community attributes, and to track each attribute’s ratings over time, respondents’ ratings were averaged using a scale ranging from 0 to 100, where 0 = very bad and 100 = very good. Respondents who selected the no opinion option for any given attribute were not included in the mean rating.

2The term “significant” is used in statistics (and in this report) to mean that the change in a measured number from one period to the next or the difference between two measured numbers is not due to chance or random variation. Significance depends upon sample size, the amount of variation in the sample data and the amount of change or difference between two numbers. The mean ratings that respondents give to various items (such as Fort Collins as a place to raise children) may change from survey to survey, but small changes are usually due to random variation in the survey sample data and are not significant. Any significant changes are identified in the report text.