Annual Survey FAQs

1. What is the annual survey of Greater Charlotte?

The annual survey is an omnibus community survey of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County conducted by the Urban Institute. The survey is designed in a collaborative framework – the institute solicits research/survey questions from multiple partners, designs a single survey instrument, facilitates survey operations and deliver individual, customized analyses and reports to partners and the community.

The annual survey continues to be the definitive community resource for high-quality analytical insights affordable to a wide range of community partners in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County .

2. Who is eligible to partner in the survey?

Any organization interested in research or public opinion about the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County is welcome to partner in the survey. In the past, we have partnered with local/regional governments, non-profit community organizations, research groups and individual researchers.

3. What is the study area of the annual survey?

We conduct the survey in the Greater Charlotte Region. We currently define Greater Charlotte as encompassing Mecklenburg County which includes the City of Charlotte and towns.

4. What is the sample size and design?

The sample size is 400, with a margin of error of approximately 5%. We typically design a simple random sampling design of Mecklenburg County for the annual survey, but also consider stratified designs based on the research questions addressed in a wave.

5.  How do you ensure that the survey is representative?

The annual survey is based on a probability-based random sample which ensures that the results are generalizable to Mecklenburg County residents. We also weight and process the data to correct for non-responses among key cross-sections of the population consistent with the best practices in survey research.

6. My study area is a smaller area within Charlotte. Is the annual survey right for me?

It depends. The annual survey is designed for the Mecklenburg County as a whole. If your study area is within Mecklenburg, please contact us to discuss if this would be feasible.

7. I have some questions to ask but I can’t find the correct way to frame them. Can the Urban Institute help?

Yes. As part of the annual survey engagement, our researchers will help frame research questions and identify how they could be translated to valid measurements.

8. Does the Urban Institute conduct similar surveys in other cities and counties?

The annual survey program is currently limited to Mecklenburg County. But we’ll be happy to discuss conducting surveys in both our primary service region and other areas. Please contact the team.

9. What are the deliverables of the annual survey?

The standard deliverable is a technical report that addresses your research questions and study objectives. This includes analytics of your key metrics and breakdowns by demographic groups of interest. (Please see ‘What’s included?’)

Deliverables can be customized. We can help you develop insights based on hypothesis testing, statistical models and customized data analyses.

10. I’m conducting research on human subjects. Will the survey need institutional review board approval?

The Institute conducts the annual survey under a blanket exemption protocol given by the IRB of UNC Charlotte. Please contact us early to determine if IRB would be required to field your questions in the annual survey. The Institute will facilitate IRB applications as an additional service.

11.  What are the costs?

Costs typically vary by the survey year and wave. Pricing is per question. Please look up the current annual survey page for this year’s pricing.

12. How many questions can I contribute into the survey?

As many as you need to address your questions. But if you are planning to contribute more than 25 questions, please contact us to discuss if there might be a more cost-effective alternative.

13. I have research questions that require complex analyses or statistical modeling. Will the Urban Institute help?

Yes. The Institute is capable of providing analytical results with a wide array of statistical modeling frameworks and techniques.

14. What is the timeline for the annual survey? When will I get results?

The timeline to develop and deliver the survey is set based on the demand and resources every year. Expect three to four months from the beginning of a partnership.