How to Calculate Response Rates

by Carter McBride; Updated September 26, 2017
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When calling or asking people polling or survey questions, the people being polled will either respond or not respond. The percentage of people responding to the number of people asked is the response rate. When surveying people, the higher the response rate, the more data that the surveyors can collect.

Step 1

Find the total number of people who responded to the survey. For example, a company mailed out 500 surveys, and of the 500 surveys, 100 people completed the survey and mailed it back.

Step 2

Determine the total number of people asked to participate in the survey. In our example, the total number of asked participants was 500.

Step 3

Divide the number of responses by the total number of people asked to calculate response rate. In our example, 100 people divided by 500 people equals 20 percent response rate.

About the Author

Carter McBride started writing in 2007 with CMBA's IP section. He has written for Bureau of National Affairs, Inc and various websites. He received a CALI Award for The Actual Impact of MasterCard's Initial Public Offering in 2008. McBride is an attorney with a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of Science in accounting from the University of Connecticut.

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