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Office of Management and Budget
2016 Community Survey

Executive Summary

OCR International conducted the Prince William County 2016 Community Survey between May and June of 2016.  The findings from this survey were presented to the Board of County Supervisors on Tuesday, October 18, 2016.  

Project Overview

Almost 1,600 county residents were surveyed in May/June 2016 (see table below for details). An address-based sample frame was used to ensure representation of all households in the county; respondents had the option to complete the survey by phone or online. The survey:

  • Assesses resident perceptions of the quality of life in Prince William County
  • Assesses perceptions of County services
  • Identifies subgroups which may be underserved
  • Addresses specific and relevant topics of interest
Total Surveys CompletedCompleted by PhoneCompleted Online
20161,5841,157 (73%)427 (27%)
20141,8311,363 (74%)468 (26%)


Key Findings

Prince William County residents are positive about the quality of life in the community and rate each of the key measures similarly in 2016 as they did in 2014.

Residents generally agree that the overall quality of life meets or exceeds their expectations and 2016 ratings are comparable to 2014 ratings.

  • Positive ratings for 2016 (91%) are comparable to 2014 (91%).

The majority of residents agree that the County's services meet expectations.

  • Ratings are similar for 2016 (91%) and 2014 (91%).

The majority of county residents feel they are getting value for their tax dollars.

  • The percentage of positive ratings for value of services for taxes paid remained steady from 2014 (85%) and 2016 (88%). 

The bulk of residents say they trust the County to do the right thing at least most of the time.

  • Scores in 2016 (81%) are similar to 2014 (84%).

County employees received very high ratings for being courteous and helpful.

  • Ratings remained similar from 2014 (91% positive) to 2016 at 93% positive.

All public safety services are given high ratings—90% or higher. Current (2016) ratings are similar to 2014.

  • Firefighters and emergency medical responders receive high scores with 97% positive for high quality service.
  • Overall, residents are happy with the response time of police and feel they are treated fairly.

Residents generally feel safe in Prince William County's neighborhoods and commercial areas. 

  • Ratings for feeling safe in neighborhoods is the same in 2016 as it was in 2014 (93%).
  • Ratings for feeling safe in commercial areas remained steady in 2016 (95% positive) compared to 2014 (93%).  

Residents' attitudes are split on whether the transportation and road systems adequately support the community. While 25% strongly agree and 41% agree, just over one-third of residents disagree that they do.

  • County-wide, residents rate the adequacy of bus service the lowest, followed by the roads.
  • Those who disagree that the transportation and road systems adequately support the community mentioned traffic congestion, lack of new road development, and overdevelopment as reasons for their low rating.

The majority of residents feel they can easily access the County's programs and services that are important to them (88%).

  • 94% of residents say the overall voting experience is Prince William County is pleasant.

Overall, when examining key measures, Old Bridge residents are more positive toward the county while Broad Run residents score the lowest on many of the measures.


Summary & Conclusions

The goal for 2016 is a continued focus on gaining a better understanding of areas of improvement the county is making over time and points of concern for county residents.  Additionally, questions were added and modified to provide greater insights into Prince William County's strengths and weaknesses.

  • The 2016 survey includes questions that will help the county better understand the transportation needs of it residents.
  • Five questions were re-worded in 2016 to help gauge residents' views on county services for the disadvantaged.
  • Questions were added and modified in 2016 to assess satisfaction with community parks and recreation centers.  

On the whole the County performs well—consistent with 2014.

  • There are things to celebrate within the County such as the quality of service provided by County employees. There are also opportunities for improvement by targeting specific needs such as transportation and differences by geographic areas where ratings are lower than average on some of the questions.

This survey, along with future ones, will help give the County a better understanding of residents' view of the County over time. The goal is to understand how investment and policy changes are affecting residents' perceptions of life in Prince William County.



2016 Community Survey Results | Back to Top

The following reports are filtered to determine how questions were answered by:

 A tutorial of how to navigate through these reports is available below.



  1. All of the reports have the same functionality and opens in the Content sheet of the Excel report, with titles linked directly to specific survey questions (table).
  2. Once on a table, click on the "Back to Contents" link (Cell A1) to return back to the Contents sheet of the Excel report. Quickly scroll through all of the tables by using ctl + 'Page Down'. Each report contains 68 tables for each survey questions.


2016 Survey Scores Comparison | Back to Top

Prince William County made a number of changes to the survey questions for 2016 in order to provide a greater level of clarity to the level of satisfaction our residents have with the services and programs provided by Prince William County Government. These changes include: higher level of specificity to the language used in the questions; elimination of questions where responses do not provide clear direction for the actions that county government ought to take to meet the expressed desires of the community; and addition of qualifying questions to provide opportunity for increased depth of inquiry and feedback where applicable.

 Survey Scores 2012-2016

A1. How would you rate the County's quality of life?91%91%93%
A2. How would you rate the overall quality of County services?91%91%90%
A3. To what extent would you agree that overall the County's services are efficient and effective?Eliminated91%89%
A4. To what extent are Prince William County services and facilities a fair value for your tax dollars?88%86%85%
A5. To what extent can you trust the County to do the right thing?81%84%85%
I1. Transportation & road systems adequately support development66%62%68%
I1. I can get around easily by car in the CountyReworded80%84%
I1. Street lighting provided where needed in CountyReworded80%81%
I1. Local bus services meets resident's needsReworded72%72%
I1. I can get around easily by car outside the countyReworded73%75%
*Transportation questions reworded : if response to question  “I1 Transportation and road systems adequately support development” was scored 5 or below, respondent was asked: Indicate the significance of the following issues on your response: i. Adequacy of Roads, ii. Adequacy of local bus system, iii. Mass transit options, iv. Other, please state   
A7. Prince William County is developing a strong local economyEliminated88%89%
A7. I can easily access information about county programs and services that are important to me88%90%90%
C1. The county effectively manages land use & developmentEliminated72%78%
C1. Visual appearance of new developments reflects well on our area87%85%85%
C1. My neighborhood has or is planning adequate community facilitiesEliminated77%77%
C1. The county does a good job of preserving open spaceEliminated73%78%
C1. I understand how, when, and where to recycle in PWCEliminated87%87%
D1. The Police Department's Overall Performance Meets Community Needs94%93%94%
D1. Police officers are courteous and helpful to all community members92%92%91%
D1. Requests for police assistance receive a prompt response94%93%92%
D1. Police department treats everyone fairly regardless of race, gender, ethnic or national origin90%89%N/A
D1. Police department provides adequate information and crime prevention programs90%90%N/A
D1. Police department has positive attitudes and behaviors towards residents91%91%N/A
D1. Fire a E1nd rescue’s overall performance meets community needsReworded98%98%
D1. Emergency Medical Services staff is skilled and reliableReworded98%97%
D1. Firefighting services are prompt and reliableReworded98%98%
D1. Fire and Rescue and Emergency Medical Services questions were reworded   
D1. Fire and Emergency Medical Services responders provide high quality service97%N/AN/A
D1. Fire and Emergency Medical Services responders are professional96%N/AN/A
D1. I feel safe in the County CourthouseEliminated97%95%
D1. Animal Control effectively protects citizens and animals89%90%88%
D1. I feel safe in my neighborhood93%93%92%
D1. I feel safe when I visit commercial areas95%93%93%
H1. County provides facilities and services for seniors and caregiversReworded88%90%
H1. I Can easily access facilities and services provided by DSSReworded89%89%
H1. County provides facilities and services for people with mental illness, substance use disorder, or intellectual disabilitiesReworded83%84%
E1.    Human Services questions were reworded to:    
A. The County provides appropriate facilities and services for people with mental illness.71%N/AN/A
B. The County provides appropriate facilities and services for people over the age of 6085%N/AN/A
C. The County provides appropriate facilities and services for people with disabilities80%N/AN/A
D. The County provides appropriate facilities and services for economically disadvantaged people 75%N/AN/A
E.  The County provides appropriate facilities and services for children at risk78%N/AN/A
J1. The county’s historic sites enhance our communityEliminated95%95%
J1. County library services meet my needs98%95%94%
J1. The County does a good job protecting our natural environmentEliminated84%86%
J1. County sports fields and field amenities meet my needsReworded89%N/A
J1. The county provides enough passive recreation opportunities such as trails, boating, fishing and picnickingReworded87%N/A
J1. The country recreation or community centers meet my needsReworded90%N/A
J1. The county indoor and outdoor pools meet my needsReworded87%N/A
J2. Parking at sports fields meet my needsEliminated90%N/A
J2. Restrooms at sports fields meet my needsEliminated81%N/A
J2. Lighting at sports fields is adequateEliminated91%N/A
G1/G2  Parks and Recreation Questions were reworded   
G1. Parks and Recreation services meet the community’s needs. 94%N/AN/A
G2. The quality of indoor recreation facilities78%N/AN/A
G2. The quality of the pools and waterparks80%N/AN/A
G2. The quality of passive recreation opportunities such as trails, boating, fishing and picnicking88%N/AN/A
G2. The quality of athletic fields82%N/AN/A
K1. It is easy to register to voteReworded97%97%
K1. Voting at local polling places is quick and easyReworded88%96%
H1. Voting Question reworded   
H1. The overall experience of voting in Prince William County is pleasant94%N/AN/A
K1. I play an active role in my communityEliminated78%80%
J1. By enforcing zoning standards, the county has helped preserve the appearance and condition of our neighborhoodsEliminated85%84%
J1. The county effectively removes litter and illegal signage on major roadsEliminated83%85%
A7. The County employees I have had contact with have been courteous & helpful93%91%92%
G3. Tax Office employees are helpfulEliminated92%92%
G1. The County should decrease both services and taxes. Eliminated24%20%
G1. The County should keep both services and taxes the same.Eliminated61%66%
G1. The County should increase both services and taxes. Eliminated12%10%
G1. Something Elise Eliminated3%4%
E1. Number of days food/emergency supplies would last without powerEliminatedmean = 5mean = 4
E1. Number of days food/emergency supplies would last with powerEliminatedmean = 11mean = 12
  Service Use
Use of County Services 20142012
B1. Library60%64%62%
B1. County Parks/Recreation48%56%60%
G2. Tax OfficeEliminated22%43%
B1. Emergency Medical Services27%27%27%
B1. Fire & Rescue27%26%23%
B1. Social Services 15%15%
B1. Agency on Aging 7%6%



If you have any questions or require assistance, you may email or call the Office of Management and Budget at or (703) 792-6720.


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