Nonresponse refers to the people or households who are sampled but from whom data are not gathered, or to other elements (e.g. cars coming off an assembly line; books in a library) that are being sampled but for which data are not gathered. The individual nonres-pondents on a survey contribute to the nonresponse rate, the aggregate tally of how many did not provide data divided by how many "should" have. One minus the nonresponse rate is, of course, the overall response rate.
Calculating nonresponse is not as simple as it initially seems. One survey may have mainly nonrespondents who could not be reached (i.e. contacted) by the [Page 528]researchers. Another reaches most of the sampled persons, but a large proportion refuse the survey. A third has ...
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