National Citizen Survey - Community Livability Report

The National Citizen Survey™ (The NCS) report is about the “livability” of Morro Bay. The phrase “livable community” is used here to evoke a place that is not simply habitable, but that is desirable. It is not only where people do live, but where they want to live.

Great communities are partnerships of the government, private sector, community-based organizations and residents, all geographically connected. The NCS captures residents’ opinions within the three pillars of a community (Community Characteristics, Governance and Participation) across eight central facets of community (Safety, Mobility, Natural Environment, Built Environment, Economy, Recreation and Wellness, Education and Enrichment and Community Engagement).

The Community Livability Report provides the opinions of a representative sample of 534 residents of the City of Morro Bay. The margin of error around any reported percentage is 4% for the entire sample. 

2016 Morro Bay Community Livability Report

The City will likely commission this survey every few years as a comparison tool to see where we are improving, or need improvement, in the eyes of our community.


Quality of Life in Morro Bay

Almost all residents rated the quality of life in Morro Bay as excellent or good. This rating was higher than the national benchmark comparison.

Shown below are the eight facets of community. The color of each community facet summarizes how residents rated it across the three sections of the survey that represent the pillars of a community – Community Characteristics, Governance and Participation. 

In addition to a summary of ratings, the image below includes one or more stars to indicate which community facets were the most important focus areas for the community. This overview of the key aspects of community quality provides a quick summary of where residents see exceptionally strong performance and where performance offers the greatest opportunity for improvement. Linking quality to importance offers community members and leaders a view into the characteristics of the community that matter most and that seem to be working best.

Community Characteristics

Community Livability Report Conclusions

Morro Bay residents enjoy a high quality of life.

Almost all respondents (91%) rated the overall quality of life in Morro Bay as excellent or good. At least 8 in 10 residents gave high marks to the City as a place to raise children and as a place to retire; ratings for Morro Bay as a place to retire were higher than ratings in comparable communities. The City’s overall image and overall appearance were rated positively by about 8 in 10 survey participants. Additionally, about 9 in 10 residents said they would recommend living in Morro Bay to someone who asked and plan to remain living Morro Bay for the next five years.

The Economy is a top priority for residents.

More than 8 in 10 residents identified Economy as a key focus area for the community in the coming two years. Ratings within the facet of Economy tended to be mixed. About 9 in 10 residents gave excellent or good ratings to Morro Bay as a place to visit; this rating was higher than ratings seen in comparison communities. Almost all residents (99%) reported that they had purchased goods or services in Morro Bay, and about half of participants gave favorable ratings to the overall quality of business and service establishments in the City and the vibrancy of Morro Bay’s downtown/commercial area. However, only about 4 in 10 respondents gave excellent or good ratings to the overall economic health of Morro Bay and less than a third gave favorable ratings to shopping opportunities and the cost of living in the City; these ratings were lower than ratings seen elsewhere. Further, less than half of
residents gave favorable ratings to the Morro Bay as a place to work and only 8% gave excellent or good ratings to employment opportunities in the City. More than 8 in 10 participants indicated that they would support encouraging existing businesses in Morro Bay to expand to provide additional jobs as a strategy to improve City finances.

The Natural Environment is an important and positive feature of the community.

The Natural Environment was also identified as a key focus area for the community in the next two years. Residents of Morro Bay tended to give high ratings to aspects of Natural Environment. Almost all survey participants gave excellent or good ratings to the overall natural environment (94%) and air quality in the City (97%); both of these ratings were higher than ratings seen in other communities nationwide. Natural Environment-related City services also received strong ratings: about two-thirds or more of residents gave favorable ratings to garbage collection, recycling services and natural areas preservation. Further, more Morro Bay residents indicated that they had made efforts to conserve water and had recycled at home than residents in other communities nationwide. About 85% of residents indicated that they somewhat or strongly support the Morro Bay Power Plant site being turned into an environmental green space with some trail access.