Every two years, the Community Marketing program of Renaissance Rock Island conducts a telephone survey to determine statistically valid perceptions about Rock Island. Personal Marketing Research, Inc. (PMR) was contracted to administer the survey in the fourth quarter of 2009. The sample for the study was comprised of 800 respondents, allowing for an overall margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points at 95% level of confidence. 400 Rock Island residents and 400 non-residents were questioned.
Overwhelmingly, Rock Island residents believe that Rock Island is a good place to live (91%). The majority of residents have a positive view of Rock Island (65%) and non-residents have a neutral perception (56%).
When rating City services and the School District, residents gave more positive answers than in 2007. Residents feel that the amount of property taxes paid for City services (46%) and School District services (48%) is appropriate. All City services were rated above average by residents. Residents think the schools are better or much better than five years ago (36%).
Respondents state that Rock Island has the best downtown (39%). This has changed dramatically since 1990 when respondents thought Rock Island had the worst downtown. People go downtown for entertainment, dining, and bars and this has remained consistent since 1990.
Residents and non-residents agree with the Rock Solid, Rock Island brand statements - now five years old: Rock Island is a welcoming environment, a place that supports entrepreneurial spirit, and a place that celebrates a diverse environment. Rock Island offers a wide variety of residential housing options, has innovative public and private schools, offers a complete set of recreational and leisure activities, provides outstanding city and governmental services, and is a regional leader in downtown development.
Respondents feel that Rock Island is safe (76% stated very safe or safe), and more residents stated so (87% stated very safe or safe). Residents feel safe in their neighborhoods (84% stated very safe or safe). Respondents feel that Rock Island properties are well kept (63%), with residents feeling more so (71%). Respondents feel downtown Rock Island is safe (49% stated very safe or safe), while more residents felt safe (54% stated very safe or safe).
Perceptions of Rock Island have improved since 1990, due to continual improvements in the city. However, just as stated in the conclusions of the 1990 market research, work will need to continue.