Dakota County is a great place to live, the county does a good job providing services and public confidence in county government continues to grow, according to the 2022 Residential Survey.
Those were among results of the survey conducted earlier this year by National Research Center at Polco. The public opinion research firm has surveyed Dakota County residents every three years since 2006.
Dakota County ranked first among peer counties nationally that conducted similar surveys in five key areas: economic health of the county, managing tax dollars, quality of libraries, providing information to residents and acting in the best interest of the community. Among the same group of counties, Dakota County ranked in the top 5 nationally in more than 10 other areas. It also scored higher in many categories than four other Minnesota counties with a similar survey.
Survey responses tell the Dakota County Board of Commissioners which issues are important to residents and how well the county is serving the public.
“We pride ourselves at Dakota County on providing high-quality services at a good value for our taxpayers," Board Chair Kathleen A. Gaylord said. “We are pleased to see that the quality of these services and the way county staff delivers them continues to be recognized and appreciated by our residents."
The survey highlighted how residents feel about other topics:
- Quality of life is very high — 91 percent of county residents said their overall quality of life is good or excellent.
- Dakota County provides high-quality services to residents — 97 percent said parks are good or excellent, and 95 percent had the same impression of libraries. Road conditions, greenways, snow removal and overall service quality all were rated good or excellent by at least 70 percent of those surveyed.
- Residents expressed concern about the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the local economy and on the health and safety of vulnerable populations. However, nearly 70 percent of residents gave the county good or excellent marks for its COVID-19 services.
- Residents said they feel safest at county libraries and other buildings as well as schools and places of worship. They have growing concerns about crime and safety issues in the community. Housing affordability is also a top concern for residents.
- Most residents approve of the work of the county board.
- Nearly all residents surveyed strongly support using county funds to protect natural resources.
The survey was mailed in February and March to 4,200 households, split among the seven county commissioner districts to ensure balance. Nearly 650 residents participated in the survey, resulting in a statistically valid representation of county residents, within a range of plus or minus 4 percent.
To view the full Residential Survey results and learn how the survey was conducted, visit Residential Survey page.