2018 Citizen Satisfaction Survey results

The 2018 Citizen Satisfaction Survey results are in and citizens’ perceptions about quality of life in Calgary remain strong, and satisfaction with the level and quality of City programs and services remains high.

The City of Calgary conducts an annual Citizen Satisfaction Survey to gather citizens’ views and perceptions about City programs and services. Findings from these surveys provide a performance-based report for Council, Administration and the public. Tracking citizens’ perceptions over time allows for benchmarking against previous years’ findings and against established municipal norms from other Canadian municipalities.

“I am really pleased to see Calgarians continue to be optimistic. Citizens remain positive about quality of life in Calgary, proud to live in our city, and hopeful about Calgary’s future,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “The information we get from this survey is critical to informing the decisions we will make over the course of the next year and, in particular, as we set the 2019-2022 budget later this month.”

2018 Citizen Satisfaction Survey Highlights

  • Overall, most Calgarians (83 per cent) agree that Calgary is a “great place to make a life,” while a similar proportion (84 per cent) also agree Calgary is “on the right track to being a better city.”
  • Overall citizens are satisfied with the level and quality of City services and programs (77 per cent). Highlights in this category include a 95 per cent satisfaction rating when it comes to quality of drinking water, parks, playgrounds and other open spaces, 91 per cent satisfaction with residential blue cart recycling and 88 per cent satisfied with social services for individuals such as seniors or youth. Decreased satisfaction was seen in areas like road maintenance, snow removal, and spring street cleaning which is not surprising given Calgary’s long winter in 2017-2018.
  • Issues identified as needing the most attention from local leaders are infrastructure, traffic and roads, at 40 per cent. This is unchanged from 2017. Transit remains in second place at 16 per cent and crime, safety and policing a solid third at 14 per cent.
  • When asked if The City should invest more, less or the same amount in specific services and programs, half or more Calgarians say The City should invest more in transportation-related services including road maintenance, snow removal, Calgary Transit, traffic flow management and transportation planning.
  • A majority of citizens also said The City should invest more in affordable housing, social services and the Calgary Police Service.
  • The perceived value of property tax dollars saw an increase this year and Calgarians’ interest in knowing how their tax dollars are invested remains high.
  • Citizen perceptions about The City’s customer service delivery remains strong and overall satisfaction at 78 per cent with quality of City information and communications is solid.
  • Overall, most Calgarians are satisfied with the way The City of Calgary is going about running our City, but fewer believe that City Council and City Administration work collaboratively to make the best possible decisions for the future of Calgary, which could point to an area of improvement.

This year’s Citizen Satisfaction Survey was conducted by Ipsos in accordance with The City’s vendor procurement process. The total sample size for the survey was 2,500 people who were randomly selected to complete the telephone survey. The survey sample consisted of both cell phones (40 per cent) and landlines (60 per cent). The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 2.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The City has hundreds of conversations every year through a variety of research initiatives and engagement activities, including the Citizen Satisfaction Survey. All of those conversations are about some aspect of service delivery to citizens. Through hundreds of initiatives across the gamut of City services in the past year, Administration has produced dozens of reports that summarize more than 275,000 pieces of input from citizens. This input has been provided to City Council and Administration throughout the One Calgary Service and business Plans process.

Calgarians are encouraged to sign up for Citizens’ View, Calgary’s online panel at to have their say in City programs and services on an ongoing basis.

The detailed findings of the 2018 Citizen Satisfaction Survey are available at