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How do Cincinnatians feel about their city? East siders have more positive opinion than west siders

Nearly 1,500 residents surveyed
Posted at 4:02 PM, Jun 03, 2022

CINCINNATI — People on the east side enjoy living in Cincinnati more than people on the west side, according to residents surveyed in a recent study.

Nearly 1,500 people were surveyed by the ETC Institute on a range of topics covering everything from public safety, quality of life and cost of living.

More than 50% of survey participants said they've lived in the city for more than 30 years.

The survey consisted of 11 sections with dozens of questions within each. Some sections were rated on a five-point scale from very dissatisfied to very satisfied, poor to excellent and some questions required yes or no answers.

Other themes from the survey include a high rating for fire and EMS services, low ratings for police and most people think city leaders need to do more.

Let's dive into the study:

Quality of life

Most people rated Cincinnati as a good or excellent place to live but there's a noticeable difference between the east and the west sides of town.

Cincinnati as a place to live.PNG

The majority of people gave the city positive ratings when it comes to work-life balance, but when it comes to raising children, those that live in the east paint a much different picture than the west.

Cincinnati as a place to raise children.PNG

When asked "How does Cincinnati rank as a place where I feel welcome," the majority of people gave a positive rating but it once again came down to where respondents live.

Place where i feel welcome in Cincinnati

Based on the survey responses, people living on the west side said they have less access to affordable housing, access to affordable food and overall economic opportunity.

The west side of town said it felt less safe in its neighborhoods than the east side of town, with overall mixed ratings on the topic.

How does Cincinnati rank as a place where I feel welcome.PNG

Across the board, Cincinnati fire rescue and EMS crews and their response time received a vast majority of positive ratings, but CPD didn't get the same treatment.

Most people did not think the police work hard enough to collaborate with the public to address their concerns. In fact, only 52% of people said they are satisfied with the effectiveness of police protection where they live. Again, the experience of those on the east side is different than those on the west, especially when it comes to rating the attitude and behavior of officers towards citizens within Cincinnati's neighborhoods.

attitude and behavior of officers towards citizens.PNG

Although the east side ranked its experience with police higher than the west side, those on the west side said they had a better experience with the city's 911 service than those living in the east.

quality of 911 dispatch.PNG

According to the study, more than 30% of people did not think the city was safe, even though only 16% of people surveyed identified as victims of a crime.

Across the board, questions involving city administration received low ratings. In fact, all 12 questions in the Communication and Community Engagement section of the survey, and all 7 questions in the Leadership section received positive ratings of less than 40%.

Only 39% of people said the city's efforts are good or excellent when it comes to supporting diversity by serving people equally regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, age, abilities, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Areas close to downtown and areas in the far east portion of the city gave slightly more positive responses than those in other parts of the city.


Overall the city could do better with infrastructure, according to survey takers.

Less than 50% of residents from across the city gave a positive rating for accessibility for those with disabilities, adequacy of street lighting, sidewalk conditions and maintenance of city streets.

The east side respondents were more positive about traffic flow than the west side.

Most people did not have anything positive to say about the city's cleanliness and appearance but the majority of Cincinnatians were happy with their garbage and recycling pickup services. Those that live closer to downtown gave the lowest ratings.

What is the city doing with all of this information?

The ETC institute took all of this information and created "investment priority" page that rank the importance each subject to give the city an idea of what should be "fixed" first.

Below is an example of what the institute thinks is a top investment priority when it comes to public safety perception:

You can read the full study here.

Demographics of the survey


  • 0.3% identified as American Indian/Eskimo alone, non-Hispanic
  • 1.8% identified as Asian/Pacific Islander alone, non-Hispanic
  • 42.0% identified as Black/African American alone, non-Hispanic
  • 4.3% identified as Hispanic, any race.
  • 0.7% identified as mixed race, non-Hispanic
  • 0.4% identified as other, non-Hispanic
  • 50.5% identified as White alone, non-Hispanic

Annual income:

  • 24% reported earning under $30,000 per year.
  • 26.6% reported earning $30,000-$59,000 per year.
  • 25% reported earning $60,000-$99,999 per year.
  • 24.5% reported earning $100,000 or more per year.

Additional information

  • 76% of respondents said they are homeowners.
  • 97.6% of people are older than 25.
  • 49.3% of people that responded identified as females.
  • 50.0% of the people that responded identified as males.
  • 0.7% preferred not to self-describe.

What is the ETC Institute?
The ETC Institute was founded in 1982 by Dr. Elaine Tatham to help local governmental organizations gather data from residents to enhance community planning, according to the institute's website. The once a one-person company is now a massive national corporation. According to its website, the institute has completed thousands of research projects and surveys for clients in 49 states. Since 2010 more than 2 million have been surveyed in 1,000 cities.

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