A SURVEY ABOUT QUALITY OF LIFE

“People like it here.” That statement was made in a newspaper article by a high-level city official after residents of his and 4 adjacent counties took a telephone survey. Of the 2,000 folks interviewed, 78% rated their quality of life as “excellent” or “good” rather than “fair” or “poor.” However, the survey’s formal report (but not the newspaper article!) cited the response rate as only 29.2%. Thus, the survey’s respondents—a small and nonrandom slice of the targeted random sample—may not have represented well all residents living in the 5 counties. Moral of the story: response rates are important, ought to be reported, and should be high!

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