Skip to main content

Sampling to Minimize Nonresponse Bias


Response rates are a major concern for many researchers because of their link to data collection costs and, in some cases, data quality. This chapter overviews several of the methods that are commonly used to increase response rates and the logic behind setting “optimal” response rate targets. Many projects define “optimal” response rates with a goal of ensuring that the survey fielded should achieve a response rate at that minimum threshold level. This chapter outlines why that approach may be misguided and proposes that researchers instead focus on the response rate that minimizes nonresponse bias. Future directions for research on response rates and nonresponse bias are also proposed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Further Reading

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to J. Michael Brick .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Brick, J.M. (2018). Sampling to Minimize Nonresponse Bias. In: Vannette, D., Krosnick, J. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Survey Research . Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Download citation