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Community Issues Survey Survey (Jan 2012)

Compiled by Doug Smith. January 2012


This is a brief summary of the results of the Portsmouth community survey that was put online for several weeks by the Portsmouth Economic Development Committee. A total of 52 people took the online survey which asked questions about community involvement and other community issues in Portsmouth. While it is recognized that this is a relatively small number out of a population of over 18,000 people, these responses provide some useful qualitative information from that part of the Portsmouth community that utilizes online technology in their daily lives. This summary includes general comments about some of the responses. The entire summary of data from the survey is available for downloading and reading at

Responses to the survey showed that despite the many public or political issues in Portsmouth (some of which were identified in the comments), those residents that responded to the survey were generally satisfied with living in Portsmouth and had a strong sense of community. Many comments addressed the need for creating new and varied public and neighborhood events in Town, to include concerts, parades, picnics, outdoor festivals, fairs, community theater, outdoor movies and other similar events. The overall picture of Portsmouth that this survey shows is of a community that is proud of their neighborhoods and desiring more community-oriented events.

Attending Public Events.

The first questions were about attending public or civic events in Portsmouth.

When asked how often people attended public or civic events in Portsmouth,  51% indicated they attended somewhat or very often while almost half said not very often or never. The type of events people attended were also quite interesting, with 40% indicating that they had attended Town Council meetings or workshops somewhat often and only 18% had never attended such meetings. There was obvious interest in what was going on at these meetings, however, as 61% of respondents viewed Town Council meetings on Cox public access channel 18 and 22% indicated that they watched meetings on Nearly 80% of respondents followed the “live blogging” on Portsmouth Patch. 

Other Public Activities.

Regarding other public activities, school, library and church sponsored events seem to be the most popular. The general theme of the comments in this section indicated that a lack of publicity about local events was an issue for some people. This void in information could be filled by the Town’s internet resources, but only 47% of respondents used the Town website for information often, while 53% used it infrequently or not at all.

Other Public Events

When it came to the types of public events that people would attend if they were held in Portsmouth, the general consensus - most of the answers - indicated outdoor concerts, music or other arts and culture events like fairs, holiday events and similar family-oriented events were the most popular by far.

Public Parks

Portsmouth’s public parks and beaches seem well utilized with over 73% of respondents indicated that they visited them often. 48% were satisfied with the conditions of these public places, 44% were neutral on this question and only 8% indicated dissatisfaction.

The Library

The Portsmouth Free Public Library is also well-utilized with 94% of respondents indicating that they had visited it, 45% more than once a month. Most, 75%, used the library primarily to check out books or other media. Likewise 77% of respondents were satisfied with the services provided by the library.


Answers to the questions about individual neighborhoods indicate a generally close knit community, with 98% of respondents knowing at least some of their neighbors, and 60% knowing all or most of them. 98% felt that their neighborhoods were safe and clean places, and their streets generally well-maintained. Over 70% felt a strong sense of community and pride in their neighborhoods.

General Satisfaction

Generally speaking, most (74%) were satisfied with their experience living in Portsmouth, although 18% indicated that they were slightly or extremely dissatisfied. Responses regarding changes that would make Portsmouth better were quite varied and can best be gauged by reading the entire summary.


Download a complete summary of the data generated by this survey(PDF Document)