Citizen satisfaction with federal government services drops to all-time low

Posted by Luke Fretwell · January 25, 2022

Results from the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index survey say public satisfaction with U.S. federal government services is down 2.6% to 63.4%, the lowest rating ever recorded.

The results are based on interviews with 2,387 people who were asked to evaluate their 2021 experiences with federal government services.

From the announcement:

The ACSI federal government model measures four primary drivers of citizen satisfaction that are quality attributes which represent the most relevant performance areas of government agencies and services. Among these drivers of satisfaction, all four decline between 2020 and 2021: efficiency and ease of government processes (-5% to 63), ease of accessing and clarity of information (-3% to 67), the courtesy and professionalism of customer service (-1% to 73), and perceptions of government website quality (-1% to 70). Collectively, these declines represent a broad erosion of the quality of federal government services experienced by citizens in 2021.

Satisfaction by political affiliation:

Looking at year-over-year trends from 2020 to 2021 by party affiliation, both Democrats (-4% to 65) and Republicans (-2% to 64) show declines in citizen satisfaction. The relatively small group of “Other Party” supporters (-13% to 54) also expresses much lower satisfaction in 2021 although this group’s smaller sample size yields greater year-to-year variability. Only Independents who indicate no political party affiliation (+2% to 63) show a small increase in satisfaction for 2021. Nevertheless, the broad decline in citizen satisfaction across all respondents who indicate a political affiliation—including Democrats, Republicans, and Other Party supporters—reinforces the existence of a widespread erosion in the perceived quality of government output across citizens.

ACSI Federal Government Report 2021 (.pdf)

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