The opportunity and challenge of faith-based civic engagement.

The opportunity and challenge of diversity

Community connectedness linked to happiness and vibrant communities

Dimensions of social capital

Variation between communities/community analysis

Survey design, methodology, and other housekeeping details

Raw data available from Roper Center

Table 1
Communities Surveyed, Geography of Area, and Sample Size

Table 2
Effective Sample Sizes and 95% Confidence Intervals for Percentage Estimates


Survey design, methodology, and other housekeeping details

The Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey was designed by the Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America, a project at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  The principal investigator on this project was Prof. Robert D. Putnam, and the survey drew upon the lessons learned from a Social Capital Measurement Workshop held at Harvard University in October 1999.  In addition, there was a Scientific Advisory Committee convened to advise on survey construction, consisting of some of the leading scholars on measuring social capital and cross-racial social trends. [7]   All efforts were made, where possible to use questions extensively tested in previous surveys.

The survey, averaging 26 minutes, was conducted by telephone using random-digit-dialing during July to November, 2000, although interviewing in the national survey and in most of the community surveys was concluded by October.  TNS Intersearch, an international survey firm, was commissioned to conduct the interviewing, and prepare the data for analysis.  Roughly 29,200 people were surveyed. The national sample (N = 3,003) of the continental U.S. contains an over-sampling of black and Hispanic respondents; 501 non-Hispanic blacks were surveyed and 502 Hispanics participated.

In addition, each sponsoring organization (largely community foundations) decided on the size and sampling geography for each community sample. Most of the samples range in size from 500-1,500 interviews.  (A complete list of communities surveyed, their sample size and geographic definition are shown in Table 1 below.) [8]

The confidence interval for the various communities is given in Table 2 below and ranges from +/- 2.1% for the national sample to +/- 5.8% for some communities like Seattle.

Response rates averaged 28.9% for the community samples and 28.7% for the national sample, using the AAPOR RR2 formula. The adjusted cooperation rates, examining the percent of those contacted who agreed to participate and completed the interview, were 41.6% for the community samples and 42.3% for the national sample. [9]

Up to 10 additional callbacks after the initial call were made to try to get respondents to participate and calls were made at various times of the day and various days of the week, spread out over the call period.  All but very hard refusals were attempted to be converted into participants.

*The survey data, survey instrument, and codebook are now available from
the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Storrs Connecticut.

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