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A majority of Barcelona residents - 53.1 percent - say that the city has deteriorated in recent times, while 28.6% believe it has improved and 14.0% see it as remaining the same. This is one of the key figures extracted from the city's 2021 Municipal Services Survey presented this Tuesday, which includes the finding that the most serious problem in the eyes of residents is law and order, cited by 14.5%. However, 76.9% of respondents approve of the Barcelona city council's management, and only 21.5% give it a fail mark. The average score that Barceloníns give their municipal government is 5.9, two decimals more than in the previous survey, when the rating was 5.7.


In the presentation of the survey, the deputy mayor and councillor for the presidency, budget and neighbourhood plan, Jordi Martí, put particular emphasis on the pass mark given to municipal management, noting that "the emergence from the pandemic is reflected very positively and in all aspects", and for this reason wanted to stress that "76.9 percent of interviewees approve the council's management, with 5.9 as the average grade". Martí also considered that although law and order remains the main problem in the eyes of Barcelona residents, the perception of this has fallen from 17.7% to 14.5%, leading him to claim that "indicators related to law and order are improving". In fact, the deputy mayor called on people to "listen to the reality and not the noise" and concluded that beyond speeches likening the state of the city to "the seven plagues of Egypt", the real situation "is clearly improving".

28% would leave Barcelona

The same survey reveals that 28 percent of Barcelona residents would move out of the city, a fairly high figure compared to other years, but two points below the percentage in last year's annual survey, when it stood at 30%, the highest figure in history. Likewise, 54% consider that their preferred place of residence is their current neighbourhood while 17% would change neighbourhoods but would not leave the city.

In addition, apart from law and order, which remains the most serious problem in the city with 14.5% citing it, the most serious issues raised by residents of Barcelona are access to housing (7.4%), unemployment and working conditions (7.3%), cleanliness (6.9%) and pollution and the environment (5.2%).

Ratings of city services

With regard to the services provided by the city, the figures are quite stable compared to the previous survey. Rated out of 10, the highest marks are given to firefighters (8.2); public libraries (7.8); municipal markets (7.5); civic centres (7.4); bus (7.3); tram (7.3); garbage collection (7.2); street lighting (7.1) and cultural activities (7.0). There is only one municipal service that is given a fail, that of car parking, with a score of 4.1.

The Municipal Services Survey has been carried out annually since 1985, based interviews with more than 6,000 Barcelona residents in their homes with the aim of finding out their opinions on the city, the municipal management and the evaluation of the different services offered by the city council.


Main image: Guàrdia Urbana (city police) operation in Barceloneta / ACN