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The National Community Survey

The Nation's Premiere Community Survey

Join hundreds of other local governments and get a representative picture of residents’ needs and perspectives with the nation’s premier community survey.

The National Community Survey™ (The NCS™) is developed and provided by National Research Center at Polco. We are here to help you move your community forward.

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Versatile and Powerful Research 

City managers and local government leaders across the nation use The National Community Survey (The NCS) to:

Engage residents safely and effectively

Free up staff time 

Budget and raise funds

Measure performance

Make evidence-based decisions

Guide economic recovery and growth

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Tried and Trusted

The National Community Survey, in partnership with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), is the gold standard in community assessments today. This benchmarking survey provides a comprehensive and accurate picture of livability and resident perspectives about local government services, policies and management. Hundreds of communities in nearly every U.S. state conduct The NCS.

Our researchers use scientific survey methods and best practices of the modern day to guarantee valid findings and put your results into meaningful context. Results draw 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.

What Our Clients Say

As we continue to strive for an open and transparent government, it is imperative to understand how we are doing ... We must become a more data-driven government. This comprehensive survey will help us assess citizen satisfaction with county services and identify opportunities for improvement.

Don Mohler
County Executive, Baltimore County, MD

More important, the survey serves as a guide for how and where we appropriate funds, based on what is most important to our citizens ... it’s such an important tool in providing the best services possible and measuring our success.

Lora Grogg
Budget Director, Johnson City, TN

The [survey] will provide another valuable source of community input as we begin drafting a new Master Plan and Strategic vision later this year...As we shift from planning to action, [the survey] will also provide benchmarks, allow us to track progress, and make comparisons to other communities.

Jon Ristema
City Manager, Kalamazoo, MI

The [National] Community Survey is an important tool to inform city operations by helping us align our strategic plan, departmental work plans and budgets with community priorities. It was a key input in the City Plan update, and will help shape the city’s Strategic Plan update.

Kelly DiMartino
Deputy City Manager, Fort Collins, Colo.

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Have Questions? Want to Get Started?

Our expert program managers are available to help with all projects. Drop us a line - we'd love to help you achieve your community's goals.

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The National Community Survey Services

Advanced Reporting

Interactive reporting of results on Polco (PDF download available)

Benchmark Comparisons

Benchmark comparisons with more than 500 communities nationwide

Accurate Representation

Scientific survey methods to best reflect characteristics of your entire community

Wider Access Online

Open participation survey included in addition to the sampled survey

In-Depth Results

Tracking of results and response rates by geographic area and basic demographics

Expert Analysis

Survey conducted and analyzed by a data science practitioner

Voice of the People Awards

Communities that conduct The National Community Survey are eligible to participate in the Voice of the People (VOP) awards.

Discover the Voice of the People Awards
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Plans & Pricing

The NCS is available with the Polco Performance Plan subscription.

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Need Something Custom?

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Learn more about our Custom Surveys.

About Custom Surveys