Metrics matter

A good place to start is to check the pulse and status of the community. Below, we introduce you to the City’s annual resident satisfaction survey called the National Citizens Survey, and pull together demographic data reported by the City of Palo Alto and the PAUSD School District.

For additional information on particular topics areas see our pages on Jobs and Housing Data, Budget Data, Transportation Data, and Schools Data and our library of surveys and research. We’re just getting started populating those pages, so check back often for more.

The Basics

Satisfaction and Spending

Each year, the City Auditor’s office produces a collection of documents designed to provide information to the City Council, management, and the public to increase accountability and the transparency of City government.

  1. Palo Alto’s National Citizen Survey measuring resident satisfaction – click here for 2016 National Citizens Survey ;
  2. A detailed Performance Report containing summary information on spending, staffing, workload, and performance results for fiscal years 2007 through 2016 – click here for 2016 City Performance Report; and
  3. A four-page Citizen Centric Report that includes highlights in the performance report, per capita spending , and an overview of our City’s economic outlook – click here for 2016 Citizen Centric Report.

The National Citizen Survey™ is a collaborative effort between the National Research Center, Inc., (NRC) and the International City/County Management Association. The NRC uses a statistically valid survey methodology to gather resident opinions across a range of community issues, including the quality of the community and services provided by the local government.

The report includes trends over time, comparisons by geographic subgroups, benchmarks to other communities, responses to 9 custom questions, including one open-ended question, and details about the survey methodology.

Key findings in 2016 showed low satisfaction across a variety of indicators:


  • PA = Palo Alto
  • SOI = Sphere of Influence (including Stanford)
  • J/ER = # of Jobs/Employed Resident