Eden Prairie residents keep giving high marks to their quality of life and to city-government services, even as communities across the country struggle with issues such as policing and affordable housing.
In the City of Eden Prairie’s latest survey of residents, 92% of respondents rated the quality of life in EP as excellent or good, compared to 93% in 2020. That number has never been lower than 89% over the last decade.
Why it matters: The community survey taken every two years by the City of Eden Prairie is one of the few instruments that measure what residents like and dislike, and thus it carries great weight among policymakers, including city council members and city staff.
Here are four facts about how the survey was conducted:
- It was carried out by Wisconsin-based Polco/National Research Center, which has done the past several Eden Prairie surveys.
- The firm has survey data from more than 500 communities nationwide, so Eden Prairie results can be compared with national, regional and Minnesota results.
- The latest work is labeled as the city’s 2022 survey to keep pace with the historic every-other-year schedule – the previous survey was in late 2020 – but the actual polling was done in February and March of this year.
- There were 452 responses to the mailed survey (from 2,000 households, randomly selected), and 716 residents took the online version, for a total of 1,168 responses.
Following are some other highlights from the survey:
- There were 66 items on the Eden Prairie survey that can be stacked alongside results from communities nationwide. Eden Prairie ratings came out higher than the national average benchmark scores on 47 of those items; EP scores were similar to national benchmarks on 19 others; and Eden Prairie scored lower than the national averages on none of the items.
- Comparing the recent Eden Prairie results with EP results from 2020, the latest scores were higher on 12 items, similar on 139 items, and lower on 34 items.
- The pollsters said at least some of the topics receiving lower scores mirror national trends. For example, nationwide respondents in recent surveys have looked more critically at police services, housing costs, healthcare affordability, and certain other issues.
- In some instances, Eden Prairie’s score dropped slightly but its rank against other communities actually went up. For example, EP residents’ ranking of the city’s work to preserve natural areas dropped from 91% to 85%, but the local score was still higher than national, regional, and Minnesota averages.
- 9 in 10 residents said they would recommend living in Eden Prairie to someone who asks.
- 9 in 10 residents also rated police services as excellent or good, higher than regional and national averages.
- Reflecting on perceived “problems” related to public safety, the items mentioned most as at least moderate problems were traffic speed, vandalism/property damage, youth crimes, and drugs.
- 90% of residents ranked the quality of city services as either excellent or good.
- When asked to consider their favorite thing about living in Eden Prairie, 30% of respondents mentioned parks, trails, and recreational centers.
Mayor Ron Case said the surveys give credence to a common belief in Eden Prairie: that among the top reasons people move here are the excellent parks, trails, and natural resources, as well as safe neighborhoods.
“To see 30% of the people pick parks, recreation, and trails as the No. 1 best thing about Eden Prairie – it’s very validating,” he said. “I’m always pleased to see those high numbers, and it’s not just relative to where we’ve been, but also to our fellow communities around this southwest suburban area, across Minnesota, and then benchmarked across the U.S.
“So, things are good in Eden Prairie. We feel that this survey supported and validated that, and I think that’s great.”
City Manager Rick Getschow said the full results will soon be posted on the city’s website.
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