If you’re in the process of creating a strategic plan for your municipality, you’ve undoubtedly read about the importance of measures. If you need a refresher, measures are defined as strategic tools that help you understand if you’re accomplishing your organizational objectives in a strategic way. You should ideally have one or two measures for every objective, while keeping in mind that your measures may change periodically to ensure that you meet your objective.
The problem that many municipalities have is that there are thousands of possible measures to, well, measure. So, with that in mind, how exactly do you select the appropriate key performance indicator (KPI) for the job?
To that end, we’ve created this exhaustive library of 143 BSC measures and KPIs, broken up into 14 important categories that are important for local government. Take a look!
143 Local Government KPIs & Scorecard Measures
Arts & Culture KPIs
- Total Attendance at Festivals and Cultural Events: Attendance for festivals and events in a municipality demonstrates the engagement of residents with the broader cultural community.
- Number of Performances at Performing Arts Center: Recording the number of events at a community performing arts center illustrates the long-term use and viability of the facility.
- Average Percentage of Capacity Filled at Performing Arts Center: Observing the average percentage of capacity filled during events at a public performing arts center is a good way to gauge community interest and engagement with that particular institution.
- Percentage of Dates Booked in Arena: Watching the number of available dates booked in a municipal arena helps to assess the effectiveness of utilizing that piece of infrastructure to benefit the quality of life in a community.
- Number of Festivals and Cultural Events: The number of festivals and cultural events held in a given time frame is a good metric for evaluating the cultural, artistic, and entertainment options that might attract residents and tourists to a municipality.
- Value of Commercial Projects Constructed: The value of new commercial projects constructed is a key measure that allows you to trace the amount of new commercial investment in a municipality. It is calculated by adding all of the estimated costs of construction values on building permits in a given time frame.
- Total Number of Permits Issued: The total number of building permits issued indicates the amount of construction occurring in any given year in a municipality.
- Total Number of Inspections Performed: This metric looks at the number of construction projects completed in any given year in a municipality.
- Percentage of Historic Preservation Cost Funded by Municipality Funds: Calculating this percentage helps take account of how much of the funding for historical preservation is coming from outside sources as compared to what’s coming from municipal resources.
- Total Permit Revenue: Summing permit revenue aggregates the dollar amount a municipality brings in from building permits, contractor registration, violation search, and lien settlement requests.
- Percentage of Plans Approved After First Review: This measure looks at the rate at which plans are approved on the first attempt, in order to better understand the speed of the review process.
- Number of Subscribers and Followers on Social Media: Keeping tabs on the number of subscribers and followers to an organization’s social media accounts helps you understand how many residents are actively engaged online.
- Number of Town Hall Participants: This measure demonstrates how engaged residents are with the functions and policy of a city hall.
- Resident Satisfaction with Appearance of Municipality: A survey that evaluates how satisfied residents are with the overall appearance of the community can provide insight into the importance of an investment in “municipal beautification.”
- Resident Satisfaction with Municipality as Place to Live: A survey that evaluates how satisfied residents are with the municipality as a place to live can help dictate the direction and investment(s) of the municipal government.
- Poverty Rate: Poverty rates offer insight into the status of a municipality as a place that fosters upward mobility. This measure also acts as a benchmark against state and national poverty rates.
- Resident Satisfaction of Municipality as a Workplace: This measure looks at the feelings of residents toward the municipality’s economic outlook; it can be captured in a survey that measures citizen happiness.
- Number of Active Municipal Mobile App Users: Mobile applications have become an increasingly popular tool for communication. Taking account of active municipal app downloads and users is crucial to understanding effectiveness of this new communication method.
- Resident Satisfaction with Municipal Communication: Satisfaction with the overall communication of the municipality reflects general feelings that cannot be captured by other quantitative measures, and is important to understanding the true success of information distribution.
- Voter Turnout: Voter turnout for local elections is an important indicator of community engagement and local government participation.
- Number of Municipal Website Visitors: A municipality’s website is one of the main tools of communication and collaboration. Observing the number of website visits in a given time period helps to understand its effectiveness.
- Median Household Income: Median household income is a vital indicator of general economic conditions in a given area.
Economic Development KPIs
- Change in Value of Commercial Property: The change in the value of commercial property indicates the current state of the commercial real estate market in a municipality. This measure is also correlated with the condition of the municipal economy.
- Number of Employers at Municipal Job Fairs: The total number of employers at municipal job fairs indicates the relative number of job openings in a municipality.
- Number of Attendees at Municipal Job Fair: The number of attendees at a municipal job fair is a reflection on the number of residents actively looking for jobs.
- Total Tourism Tax Dollars: Total tourism tax income is a metric that reflects the economic impact of tourism on a municipality.
- Unemployment Rate: The percentage of individuals who are of working age, who are (a) not in school, and (b) actively seeking work, provides a snapshot of the economic health of the people in the community.
- Number of Jobs in Municipality: Tallying the number of jobs in the municipality reveals growth or decline in employment opportunities.
- Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Municipality: Real GDP measures the economic production of a municipality over time, adjusting for inflation by setting a standard year’s prices to compare levels in different years.
- Municipality-Wide Commercial Vacancy Rate: The municipality-wide commercial vacancy rate reports on the availability of commercial property, and reflects on the state of the municipal economy.
- Number of New Businesses: The number of new businesses is a measure that sizes up economic development. This is directly related to increases in municipal revenue.
- Number of Business License Renewals: Keeping tabs on returning businesses is a way to evaluate the business climate and commercial retention rate.
- Number of New Jobs Created: The number of new jobs created is an indicator that shows growth in the economy of a municipality; it’s directly linked to the unemployment rate.
- Percentage of Residents with a GED or High School Diploma: Following the percentage of residents who have obtained high school diplomas or GEDs is a good way to review overall secondary education effectiveness.
- Percentage of On-Time Bus Arrivals at School: Identifying this percentage helps school districts better understand school transportation logistics, and what they need to make improvements to.
- Total Library Use per Capita: Tracking the amount of library use per resident can help reveal how beneficial and accessible its resources are.
- Private High School Graduation Rate: The graduation rate at private schools allows municipalities to understand the schools’ academic performances (and offers a helpful point of comparison to public school success).
- Percentage of Residents Rating Public Schools Excellent or Good: Resident satisfaction with public schools can be measured in a survey. The results can assist in quantifying aspects that increase or decrease positive perception with public schools. It’s important to note that this is directly tied the attraction and retention of young families to the area.
- Percentage of Residents with a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: Higher educational attainment levels are an important metric to assess the socio-economic condition of the area.
- Public High School Graduation Rate: This is an important measure for gauging the condition of academic success and effectiveness of the education system as a whole.
- Percentage of Hybrid Buses: Dividing the number of hybrid buses over the total number of city buses gives you this measure. It helps illustrate the presence (or lack) of environmentally-friendly municipal investments.
- Landfill Diversion Rate: Landfill diversion rate measures the proportion of total municipal waste diverted to landfill alternatives (like recycling centers and waste-to-energy plants).
- Miles of Roadside Litter Collected: Estimating miles of roadside litter collected determines the extent of cleanup and area-wide beautification efforts in a given time period.
- Percentage of Good Air Quality Days: The overall air quality can be calculated by taking the total of days in which the air quality meets the standard of “good” (as determined by the Air Quality Index) and dividing it by the total number of days in the given time period (usually one year).
- Tons of Community-Recycled Composted Materials: Determining how many tons of recycled materials a community discards in a given time frame is an indicator of growth in waste diversion.
- Municipality-Wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Capita: As a municipality becomes more sustainable through a variety of initiatives, one way to track progress is by monitoring the decrease (or increase, if there is one) of greenhouse gas emissions per capita.
- Number of New Trees Planted in Public Places: Tallying the number of new trees planted each year is a good way to measure an activity that helps create a more beautiful and sustainable area.
- Percentage of Municipal Facilities Incorporating Energy Efficient Upgrades: This measure is a method used for looking at the increase of cost-cutting, sustainable initiatives in area-wide infrastructure.
- Average Days to Close a Code Violation Case: Average days to close a code violation is a metric that represents the progression toward a more efficient code enforcement process.
- Water Usage per Capita: This measure indicates the effectiveness of long-term water conservation strategies.
- Budgeting Ratio: The budgeting ratio is calculated by dividing the ongoing operating expenditure by the total ongoing operating revenues.
- Real Estate Assessment to Sales Ratio (ASR): The ASR compares the assessed values of local real estate to the selling prices of normal, single-family sales of real property. A ratio of 100% is ideal, because it shows that property was appropriately assessed.
- Real Estate Coefficient of Dispersion (COD): The COD provides a metric of the variation for individual assessment ratios around the median level of assessment. In other words, the lower the rate, the more fair the spread of the tax burden. (15% is the industry benchmark.)
- Debt per Capita: Debt per capita measures the condition of municipal debt in relation to the total population.
- Full-Time Employees per Capita: Looking at the number of municipal staff in relation to total municipal population provides a ratio that can be compared to other similar municipalities. This helps determine whether the staff size is too small or large for a given population.
- Number of Grant Compliance Violations: Exposing the number of grant compliance violations allows for tracking compliance improvement over time.
- Number of Employees Trained in Grant Writing: Keeping tabs on the number of employees trained in grant writing allows municipalities to maximize grant-seeking activities.
- Total Number of Audit Findings: This measure evaluates the findings in the financial auditing process in a municipality.
- Bond Rating: Municipal bond rating, as determined by agencies such as Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and the National Bond Rating Agency, are indicators of the financial stability of local governments.
- Total Revenue Generated: This measure is an aggregation of all sources of municipal revenue, and the basis for building the municipal budget.
- Number of Supported Affordable Housing Units Created per Year: The number of affordable houses created with support from the local government tracks efforts to maintain the affordability of living in an area.
- Amount of Housing Relief Distributed: The dollar amount of housing relief provided by the municipality is also an effective illustration of municipal involvement for promoting affordable living.
- Number of Residents Assisted in Housing Relief Programs: Looking at the number of actual recipients of housing relief can provide insight into the number of residents impacted by housing relief programs.
- Percentage of Residents Satisfied with Affordable Housing: Evaluating the overall satisfaction of affordable housing helps gauge performance in providing high-quality, affordable housing to residents.
- Housing Opportunity Index Percentage: This measure requires observing the number of new and existing homes which were affordable to families earning the area median income and dividing that by the total number of homes using income and sales prices.
- Number of Municipality-Wide Chronically Homeless Individuals: Exposing the number of chronically-homeless individuals in a given area illustrates the progress (or lack thereof) achieved in helping these individuals into better situations and accommodations.
- Percentage of Households That Pay 30% or More of Income on Housing: The 30% of income toward rent looks at the percentage of municipal households who pay at or above HUD’s standard for burdensome housing cost in relation to total household income.
- Number of HUD Eligible First-Time Homebuyers: The number of HUD eligible first-time home buyers ensures adequate, safe, and affordable housing options for residents at or below 80% of area median income (based on data from the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report by HUD).
- Total Attendance at Neighborhood Meetings: This measure helps disclose the level of community engagement in the municipality.
- Resident Satisfaction with Neighborhood Meetings: Resident satisfaction with neighborhood meetings, taken from a satisfaction survey, can aid in determining whether or not residents find neighborhood meetings informative.
Human Resources KPIs
- Diversity of New Hires: Using application questions, municipalities can measure the diversity of new hires to make sure that they are promoting an accepting and healthy environment. (Of course, gender, race, and ethnicity are not and should not be used as a factor in hiring decision-making.)
- Diversity of Workforce: Diversity of the overall workforce evaluates the success in retaining a diverse representation in municipal staff. It also reflects the openness and acceptance of the work environment to all types of employees.
- Number of Applications Received: Number of applications received for new positions for local government positions helps weigh the level of interest and success that new job postings are generating.
- Percentage of Positions Filled Internally: Dividing the number of promotions by the number of positions filled reveals the availability of advancement opportunities and the success of internal talent development.
- Employee Satisfaction Index: An employee satisfaction index can be determined by conducting an employee survey and taking into account the number of positive versus negative responses.
- Total Hours of Training Attended: Aggregating combined training hours can indicate how much employee development took place in a given period of time.
- Absenteeism Rate: This rate reveals the percentage of lost work hours due to worker absence.
- Percentage of Performance Evaluations Completed on Time: Percentage of performance evaluations completed on time is a critical component to a successful performance management process.
- Employee Retention Rate: Employee retention rate can be calculated by dividing the number of avoidable separations by the number of regular full-time employees on the staff.
- Number of Incidents per 100,000 Miles Driven: Marking the number of incidents per 100,000 miles driven in a municipal vehicle is important in evaluating safety standards and costs of vehicles.
Information Technology KPIs
- Number of Major Network Outages: This metric tracks the incidents where a certain percentage of users (i.e. 30%) were negatively affected for a certain period of time (i.e. 3 hours).
- Satisfaction with Municipal Website: Satisfaction with the municipal website, as measured in a survey, reflects the overall quality and user-friendliness of this particularly important means of communication with residents.
- Percent of Repair Calls Resolved Within 24 Hours: This measure looks at the efficiency of the IT department in supporting vital communication networks and solving problems for citizens as they arise.
- Average Number of Hours to Complete Service Desk Request: The average number of hours it takes to complete a service desk request is a metric that tracks the improvements (or lack thereof) in service desk efficiency over time.
- Backup Success Rate: The backup success rate indicates the percentage of total backup jobs for protected servers that ran successfully.
- IT Customer Satisfaction Rate: IT customer satisfaction rate measures the percentage of customers happy with their interaction with the IT service desk.
Parks & Recreation KPIs
- Recreation Center Attendance: Recreation center attendance tracks the number of people utilizing public recreation centers and reflects their popularity.
- Acres of Park Land: With park land growing or decreasing in size over time, marking the yearly acreage of space can be helpful in tracking long-term availability of park space availability.
- Percentage of Residents Satisfied with Parks: This metric helps determine whether or not the department is doing its job to provide high-quality recreation programs and spaces for its citizens.
- Number of Rounds of Golf Played at Public Courses: In order to create a municipality with accessible and affordable public golf, it is important to keep track of the use of and costs associated with these public golf courses.
- Total Park Attendance: Tracking the total number of park visitors can be used to determine the cost per visit for municipal parks, and whether it needs to increase or decrease.
- Miles of Trails: Total miles of trails in parks is an important metric to estimate because paths are beneficial to promoting healthy, active lifestyles.
- Number of Community Gardens: This metric is helpful to understand the impact of such programs on the community-building, health, and attractiveness of the municipality.
- Percentage of Residents Satisfied with Recreational Options: Surveying resident satisfaction with recreational options ensures that the parks and recreation department is providing programs that align with the interest of community members.
- Percentage of Playgrounds Inspected: This metric helps ensure that equipment is safe for children to use.
- Number of Parks and Recreation Volunteer Hours: Benchmarking the number of parks and recreation volunteer hours serves as a means for observing growth with engaging residents around community parks and recreation projects and initiatives.
- Number of Youth Participating in Summer and Recreational Programs: Counting the number of youth who participate in recreational programs year-round tracks the popularity of public recreational programs.
- Percentage of Residents Who Live Within 10-Minute Walk of Park: The percentage of residents who live within a 10-minute walk to a park evaluates the accessibility of community parks.
- Percentage of Active Space in Use: The percentage of active space in use is an indicator of how utilized the facilities in the parks and recreation departments are.
Public Works KPIs
- Percentage of Capital Projects Completed on Time: Observing the percentage of capital projects completed on time is a way to see how successful the municipality is at opening new facilities in a timely fashion.
- Percentage of Capital Projects Completed Within Project Budget: This is a critical measurement that relates directly to maintaining the municipal budget.
- Percentage of Projects Initiated Within 12 Months of Funding Authorization: The percentage of projects initiated within one year shows the speed and efficiency with which capital projects move through the appropriate pipelines and go into construction phase.
- Total Miles of Municipal Streets Paved: This performance indicator is measured in part by the miles of municipal streets paved annually.
- Total Miles of Municipal Sidewalk Repaired: Sidewalk maintenance productivity can be reflected by the miles of sidewalks maintained per year.
- Number of Water Line Breaks: Tallying the number of water line breaks is a way to assess the proactive water line maintenance efforts of the municipality.
- Percentage of Bridges with a Sufficiency Rating of 50%: Using the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) bridge sufficiency formula, municipalities can assess the percentage of bridges that meet sufficiency standards.
- Average Number of Customer Complaints per Week: This measure offers a method for tracking the resident satisfaction of the public works department.
- Percentage of Resident Complaints Addressed Within 24 Hours: The percentage of resident complaints addressed in 24 hours measures the speed at which resident concerns are acknowledged and logged into the system.
- Percentage of Street Lights in Service: Observing the percentage of street lamps in service is a way to shine light on the effectiveness of inspections and work order response times.
- Number of Roadway Accidents: This measure offers a way to identify the success of traffic safety programs and initiatives over time.
- Number of Fires Occurring per 10,000 Residents: The fire incident rate can be measured against national standards to determine the total effectiveness of fire safety.
- Municipal Fire Cost per Capita: Fire loss per capita reveals the amount of damage caused by fires per person in a particular area during a year.
- Injury Rate of Firefighters per Fire: Injury rate of firefighters is closely tied to the severity of fires, and the number of firefighters available at a fire. Therefore, this measure can provide insight into fire prevention success and fire department staffing needs.
- Number of Community Relation Initiatives by Police: Community relation initiatives (like neighborhood meetings) are important for building the trust and respect of citizens and a safe municipality.
- Number of Foot and Bike Patrol Hours: Maximizing the number of hours spent by police on foot and bike patrol helps develop positive and beneficial relationships between law enforcement and community members.
- Number of Hours Spent Interacting with Students in Public School by Police: Tracking time spent by police and school resource officers interacting with students in the schools is an important metric, as it teaches young members of the community about law enforcement and the justice system.
- Civilian Fire Injuries per 100,000 Residents: Civilian fire injuries per 100,000 residents is a measure that keeps tabs on the rate of non-firefighters physically harmed during a fire.
- Number of Fire Prevention Code Violations: Counting the number of fire prevention code violations during routine fire inspections can help identify the effectiveness of fire training and education.
- Total Attendance at Safety Education Programs: This metric counts the number of residents who show up to events like citizen fire safety training, school fire safety programs, and Citizens Emergency Response Team training.
- Immunization Compliance Rate by Age 2: The immunization compliance rate discloses the number of children who have received the recommended shots (4 DTaP, 3 Polio, 1 MMR, 3 HIB, 3 HepB, and 1 VAR) within their first 24 months. This is vital to prevent the spread of disease in the wider community.
- Percentage of Overweight and Obese Children Enrolled in Public School Kindergarten: Recording weight statistics on entry physicals of kindergarteners gauges the health of the community (primarily because these problems in young children have been proven to increase risk of chronic disease later in life).
- Emergency Medical Services Incidents per 1,000 Residents: The relationship between emergency dispatches that meet a certain criteria and the overall population shows the rate in which emergencies occur.
- Number of Violent Crimes: Counting the number of violent crimes is one of the most standard means for determining the overall safety of the municipality and seriousness of crime in the area.
- Number of Non-Violent Crimes: Measuring the total number of non-violent crimes is a way to scope the pervasiveness of white collar crime in a municipality.
- Percentage of Residents Who Feel Safe in Parks: The percentage of residents who indicate that they feel safe in parks is a reflection of the perception of comfort in municipal parks.
- FEMA Community Rating (CRS) Score: The FEMA CRS score can serve as a benchmark of community preparedness for natural disasters.
- Number of Juvenile Arrests: Tracing the number of juvenile arrests illustrates the prevalence of youth criminal activity in a municipality.
- Number of Criminal Investigations: Counting the number of criminal investigations is a method for determining police department activity over time.
- Number of Emergency Response Calls: This metric offers a way to track the long-term trends of fire, rescue, and miscellaneous emergencies.
- Number of Residents Who Feel Safe in Their Neighborhood: Based on a survey, the number of residents who feel safe in their neighborhood helps to determine the overall perception of public safety.
- Percentage of Fire Response Time Within Goal (8 Minutes): The percentage of fire response times that meets the goal time tracks the percentage of fires responded to within 8 minutes of the phone call, the time set by the National Standards for Fire.
- Emergency Medical Service Response Time Within Goal (8 Minutes): This metric tracks the percentage of emergencies successfully responded to within 8 minutes of the phone call, the national standard time.
- Percentage of Public & Private Schools with Fire Drills Conducted: To create an atmosphere of safety for children in school, this measure indicates the percentage of schools where fire drills were successfully conducted (with a goal of 100%).
- Driver Courtesy Satisfaction Rating: Driver courtesy satisfaction rating can be gathered in a survey, and can help evaluate the happiness of residents with work commutes.
- Passenger Trips on Buses per Gallon of Fuel: Calculating total passenger trips per gallon of fuel provides valuable information in regard to the costs and value of providing municipal bus services.
- Public Transportation Satisfaction Rating: Overall public transportation satisfaction can be measured with a survey, and can show how happy residents are with public transportation options (and how likely they are to use those options).
- Average Speed on Neighborhood Streets: Tracking average speed on neighborhood streets reveals long-term variation in traffic on municipal small streets.
- Average Speed on Arterial Streets: Following the trends of the average speed on arterial streets gives a good indication of the increases and decreases of traffic on important road sections.
- Average Hours to Remove Snow from Streets: For municipalities that receive significant snowfall, marking the hours it takes to get roads plowed after a snowfall is a good way to benchmark and monitor the snow removal processes.
- Percentage of Commuters Using Public Transportation: This metric indicates how effective the department is at providing alternatives to car and pedestrian traffic.
- Walkability Score: Walkability score is a benchmark for comparison with other cities, measuring the “pedestrian friendliness” of a municipality.
- Resident Satisfaction with Municipal Traffic: A survey of resident satisfaction can evaluate happiness with the traffic in a municipality, and help align municipal goals with the traffic concerns of the residents.
- Percentage of Commuters Biking or Walking: Noting the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work is a way to estimate the non-public transportation alternatives to car commuting.
Want to take this list with you? Click below to download all 143 KPIs in an Excel document.