Every two years since 2008, the City of Burien contracts with a research firm to conduct a survey assessing residents’ perceptions about the general quality of life in the City and their satisfaction with City government services. The survey is a longitudinal study that enables us to compare the results over time. Results from the survey, combined with many other data sources, inform policymaking and budget decisions.
EMC Research was hired to conduct the 2022 survey. The survey was conducted May 23–June 22, 2022 and received 426 total responses. Residents were given the option to respond to the survey either online or through a telephone interview conducted by trained, professional interviewers. Address-based sampling was used to send postcard invitations to participate. Follow-up email and text reminders were also sent. Efforts were made to ensure respondents matched the demographic profile of Burien residents. The survey was available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
The 2022 community survey results were presented to the Burien City Council and community as part of the new strategic planning process. Key findings are detailed below. You can read more about the full survey results and survey methodology online.
Quality of Life in Burien
Residents find Burien a great place to live and are optimistic about the city’s direction, regardless of demographics or geography. Three-quarters of residents (74%) rate Burien positively as a place to live, and nearly two-thirds (62%) say the city is headed in the right direction.
Burien is generally seen as a welcoming and inclusive community, with half (52%+) of respondents giving the city high marks (4 or 5 out of 5), while just over 1-in-10 (13%) rate it critically (1 or 2 out of 5).
Issues and Priorities to Address
While residents are generally optimistic about quality of life in Burien, they also share some common concerns and priorities. Residents identify addressing the homelessness crisis, improving public safety, and making Burien more affordable as top-of-mind issues to address. For many residents, these issues are intertwined. Specific attitudes and policy preferences to address these issues vary across the city. These priorities are shared across demographic, household, and geographic respondent groups.
In line with residents’ top-of-mind priorities, improving public safety and reducing homelessness are the highest prompted priorities. Another two-in-five consider affordable housing and ensuring funds for current services “very high” priorities.
Next is a list of priorities for Burien over the next five years. Rate each one using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 means you feel that item is a very low priority and 5 means that item is a very high priority.
Awareness and City Government Ratings
While two-thirds of residents (66%) say they are informed about Burien city government, only about one-in-ten residents (12%) characterize themselves to be very informed. The B-Town Blog, owned by South King Media, is the most popular information source for residents, with City-connected information sources such as the City of Burien website and Burien Magazine utilized by about one-in-three residents.
Burien city government receives average marks for its job performance, both overall, and across different facets. Most residents default to providing neutral “good” or “only fair” ratings for the City’s performance overall and on individual ratings. Ratings are similarly neutral for specific City services and functions. While a concentration of the positive ratings would be preferred, a lack of polarized responses means these various City services and functions have not been generating controversy.
While residents remain optimistic about quality of life in Burien, many express concerns about their safety. Two-thirds report feeling unsafe while walking at night, and a plurality (47%) say they feel less safe than a year ago. Improving public safety is the top priority for residents, and over 40% of residents are dissatisfied with the job the City of Burien is doing providing police services.
Methodology and Respondent Profile
The Burien Community Survey was conducted among residents of Burien between May 23–June 22, 2022. The survey was multi-modal, utilizing address-based sampling to send mail-to-web invites, supplemented by live telephone interviews. Follow-up email and text reminders were sent. Live telephone interviews were available upon request and conducted by trained, professional interviewers. The survey was available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
A total of 426 interviews were included, with an effective weighted n of 341 based on expected distribution of the population. Overall margin of error is ±5.3 percentage points. Survey results were weighted to reflect the demographic profile of Burien based on American Community Census data. The demographic distribution of respondents is detailed below.
|% of Respondents|
|Prefer not to respond||8%|
|White or Caucasian||47%|
|Asian or Pacific Islander||12%|
|Biracial or Multiracial||1%|
|Prefer not to respond||18%|
|18-29 years old||6%|
|30-39 years old||20%|
|40-49 years old||18%|
|50-64 years old||27%|
|65 years and above||24%|
|Prefer not to respond||3%|
|Children in Household|
|Children in HH||28%|
|No Children in HH||72%|
|Geography: East/West of Ambaum Blvd.|
|East of Ambaum||58%|
|West of Ambaum||36%|
|Geography: North to South|
|North of S 128th||26%|
|South of Downtown||29%|
|No neighborhood information provided||6%|