This study of the opinions of adult City of Aiken residents has several purposes. The study establishes a benchmark of the perceived quality of services and activities performed by city departments and offices along with suggestions on improvements that could be made. We also explore why citizens choose to reside in the city along with feelings about development, growth—especially in the downtown area, the balance between services and taxes, and finally citizen/government communications, transparency and responsiveness.

The survey used a probability sample of 607 residents of the City of Aiken. These individuals were chosen at random from our sampling frame and thus residents in the city had an approximately equal probability of being asked to conduct the survey. The law of large numbers means that under these conditions, over the course of the hundreds of interviews conducted, the sample of Aiken residents closely resembles the makeup of the city at large. To correct any residual imbalances, weighting was employed to approximate Census Bureau estimates of race, age and gender in the city. Trained live interviewers were used to increase response rates and the survey was completed between mid-March and mid-April 2017.

View the 2017 City of Aiken Citizen Benchmark Study