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Unit nonresponse in a survey occurs when an eligible sample member fails to respond at all or does not provide enough information for the response to be deemed usable (not even as a “partial completion”). Unit nonresponse can be contrasted to item nonresponse (missing data) wherein the sample member responds but does not provide a usable response to a particular item or items. Unit nonresponse can be a source of bias in survey estimates, and reducing unit nonresponse is an important objective of good survey practice.

Reasons for unit Nonresponse

Despite the best efforts of the survey practitioner, there are reasons why unit nonresponse will still occur.

  • Refusal: The sample member may refuse to participate in the survey. Often refusals are divided into hard refusals and soft refusals, ...
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