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A response rate is a mathematical formula that is calculated by survey researchers and is used as a tool to understand the degree of success in obtaining completed interviews from a sample. In probability samples, where the intent of a survey is to project the results of the data onto a population (e.g. all adults in the United States), statistical theory rests on an assumption that data are collected from every unit, or person, selected. In practice, it is extremely rare for any survey to achieve this perfect level of cooperation from respondents. In turn, survey researchers may consider, examine, and when necessary, compensate for potential problems that this deficiency presents.

Response rates, sometime termed outcome rates, have traditionally been a topic of great interest because ...

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