Survey Methodology

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How did we develop the survey?

The survey was a result of a nine-month long collaboration among the CBO, RRI, City elected officials, City bureaus, and community advisors. Together, we developed a vigorous survey methodology and survey questions that are relevant to community life and informative to City decision-making. The survey was then translated to five additional languages, including Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and Chinese (simplified and traditional).

How did we invite participants to complete the survey?

To ensure the scientific integrity of the survey and maximize the outreach to all communities, especially historically underserved BIPOC communities in Portland, the survey team used a combined approach to conduct the survey.

Randomized Household Survey

A random household mail survey was distributed to a sample of 20,000 single and multifamily homes. The initial mailing consisted of an introduction letter translated into all six survey languages, including the address for a secure website, instructions to complete the survey online using a unique personal identification number, and information about the option to enter an incentive drawing. A second mailing was sent to anyone who had not yet completed the survey online and whose initial letter had not been returned undeliverable. It included a similar cover letter, along with a copy of the survey in English, and a drawing entry form.

Outreach-based Survey

It's common for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPPOC) are less likely to respond to the mail-in survey, the survey team partnered with a dozen community-based organizations and neighborhood groups to reach the community members they represent, including:

  • All Nations Canoe Family
  • Community Engagement Liaisons (CELs)
  • East Portland Action Plan
  • IRCO
  • The Miracles Club
  • NAYA
  • Somali Cultural Center
  • WomenFirst Transition and Referral Center
  • Neighborhood and District Associations (NW, SW, and East Portland)

Gift Card Incentive

As an incentive to participate, we gave out fifty $100 cash gift cards. Anyone who completed the survey had the chance to enter the drawing.

What was the survey response rate?

They survey was conducted from October 17, 2022 to January 10, 2023 and we gathered a total of 5290 completed surveys to include in the analysis. They are from Portlanders who are 16 years or older, who either live in Portland currently or have lived in Portland within the past five years, and who completed at least 70% of the survey questions.

The response rate for the random household survey portion of the study was 17.7% and the sampling error was +1.33% based on the number of occupied single and multifamily households in Portland. This means that the survey findings are accurate within 1.33 percentage points above and below each result presented in this report.

Table: Final Response Rate
Total Sample20,000
Undeliverable Mailing 1(1,031)
Undeliverable Mailing 2(392)
Valid Sample18,577
Number of Completed Surveys3,287
Response Rate17.7%

How were the results weighted?

Statistical weighting is a practice in survey analysis where a numerical value called a "weight" is assigned to each survey response to adjust the responses to better match the study population. Using weights can correct imbalances due to over- or underrepresenting certain groups in the survey responses. It can enhance the accuracy and validity of survey results. This survey calculates the weights using three demographic attributes: the respondent's geographical region within Portland (six areas), age, and racial or ethnic identity.

A map of Portland with six geographic areas: E, N, NE, NW, NE, SW/S

To find out more about the survey methodology, read RRI’s full PDF report page 15 to 24.


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