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Annual Survey of Orange County 1990

Cite this dataset

Baldassare, Mark (2014). Annual Survey of Orange County 1990 [Dataset]. Dryad.


The theme of this year's survey is "Issues of the 1990s." The 1990 Orange County Annual Survey explores three interrelated issues that are central topics in discussions about the county's future. These issues are the environment, regional government, and transportation alternatives. The sample size is 1,017 Orange County adult residents.
Online data analysis & additional documentation in Link below.


The Orange County Annual Survey was co-directed by Mark Baldassare, a UC Irvine professor of social ecology and Cheryl Katz, research associate. For the survey, 1,017 adult Orange County residents were interviewed by telephone Sept. 5 to 21. In Orange County, where more than 97 percent of households have telephones, this method of interview gives highly representative data.
Interviewing was conducted on weekend days and weekday nights, using a random sample of 4,000 listed and unlisted telephone numbers. These were generated by computer from a list of working blocks of telephone exchanges. The telephone sample was generated by Pijacki and Associates of Shoreham, N.Y. The field work was conducted at the Center for Survey Research by UCI's Public Policy Research Organization.
Of the telephone numbers called, 25 percent resulted in completed interviews and 15 percent were refusals. The completion rate for the survey (completions divided by completions plus refusals) was 63 percent, consistent with earlier annual surveys.
Other telephone outcomes include the following: 21 percent disconnected numbers; 3 percent computer or fax lines; 15 percent businesses and other non-Orange County households; 20 percent persistent no answers and 1 percent persistently unavailable respondents. Two percent were not completed because of language problems, including non-English speaking households and hearing impairment. These figures are also consistent with earlier annual surveys.
Within a household, respondents were chosen for interview using the Troldahl-Carter method. This method randomly selects a household member from a grid that includes information on the number of adult household members and the number of adult men in the household. Up to six callbacks were attempted per telephone number.
Each interview included 95 questions and took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Most interviews ranged in length from 15 to 25 minutes. The surveys were designed in three stages over eight months. The first stage involved feedback on survey topics and questions from the annual survey's Steering Committee, Advisory Committee and UCI colleagues. In the second stage, during the spring, UCI graduate students conducted focus group interviews on Orange County topics and pretested survey questions. After a draft was reviewed by the advisory committee, final revisions of the survey questions were made.
The interview began with questions about housing, consumer confidence and perceptions of life in Orange County. These were followed by questions on the environment, regional governance and transportation alternatives. A major section of the interview was devoted to questions about mass transit. Later in the interview, we turned to other topics, including privacy, civic participation and charitable giving. The conclusion of the survey was devoted to questions about work, commuting, demographic characteristics and political attitudes.
The survey's validity was checked by comparing the sample characteristics to Orange County population data. We compared the 1990 survey results to previous annual surveys and other recent survey data. Age, income and other demographic features of our sample were comparable with those noted in other studies.
For the purposes of analysis, we statistically weighted the sample to represent the actual regional distribution of Orange County residents. The population estimates for north, west, central and south county regions were from data issued by the Demographic Research Unit, County of Orange. The 1990 U.S. Census preliminary population estimates by city were also reviewed.
Several other efforts were made to correct for possible errors in interviewing or data processing. Approximately 10 percent of the completed interviews were verified through callbacks. All questionnaires were checked by a supervisor immediately after completion. Finally, keypunched data were verified for all respondents in the survey sample.
The sampling error for this survey is +/3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in Orange County were interviewed. The sampling error for any subgroup would be larger.
Sampling error is just one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be influenced by factors such as question wording, survey timing and other aspects of survey design.


University of California, Irvine


Orange County (Calif.)