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Polco News & Knowledge

What’s the Average Response Rate for a Citizen Survey?


If you’re conducting a citizen survey, we know you want to see lots of responses from your community. So, what’s the average response rate for a citizen survey? NRC Survey Specialist Audrey Silliman provides the answer and gives tips on how you can increase the number of returns.


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Mode of Administration
The mode in which the survey is administered does play a role in response rates. At NRC, The National Citizen SurveyTM (The NCSTM) is usually conducted by mail and Web, and typically receives 20-30{7d2d4cb14c544bbeb3cd4763dc2b1aa4e79f5bb51403ad6dac1e84ac9d980b0d} response rates. For The NCS standard sample size of 1500 residents, that percentage translates to about 300-400 returned surveys.

Community Size Matters
Depending on the size of your community, response rates can fluctuate. If you would like to survey a larger number of residents, The NCS does have options for increased sample sizes.

Publicize the Survey
A great way to ensure a higher response rate is to let people know about the survey. Explain why it’s important and how their voices will contribute to positive community change. Municipalities can spread the word through local news outlets, social media and the official City website.


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National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) is a leading full-service survey research and evaluation firm focusing on the information requirements of the public sector, including local governments, health care providers, foundations and non-profit organizations.  Visit our home on the Web at www.n-r-c.com.  Check out our media page for more news, tips and human-interest stories from NRC.

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