Northwest Area Foundation Horizons Social Indicators Survey, 2004-2005 (ICPSR 21181)

Published: May 21, 2008 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Northwest Area Foundation; University of Oregon. Oregon Survey Research Laboratory

Version V1

The purpose of the study was to gather information pertinent to community, neighborhood, local government, and community-based activities in order to find ways to reduce poverty throughout the Northwestern states of Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington. The survey first asked the respondents to name their place of residence (in terms of state, county, and town), how long they had lived at their residence, and how much longer they planned to reside there. Then a sequence of questions asked respondents for their thoughts about the community, such as how they felt about it, whether they felt they belonged, whether they were fairly treated or excluded from the community, and how safe they felt walking around their community at night. They were also asked about the attitudes of individuals and the relationships between community members. The survey further asked about community involvement, group membership, and social participation, access to outside sources for problem-solving, and how well the members cooperated with one another (in groups and in neighborhoods) when they disagreed. The questionnaire also asked respondents to assess how well people of different ethnic groups interacted with the community as a whole and within groups, organizations, and activities. It asked for respondents' assessment of government services for the community, their trust in government as well as members and leaders of local groups (business, ethnic, and religious), and the cooperation of the community in emergencies. Respondents were asked to evaluate their ability to make a positive impact in their community and the ability of people and groups to provide assistance to the poverty-stricken and to reduce the number of those in poverty. Moreover, the survey asked respondents about the presence of leadership programs in their community and the effects, if any, they had on its members. Switching the focus, respondents were asked to evaluate their personal or financial status, their ability to acquire a loan, credit, or other financial services, and if they ever had difficulty paying for living costs (food, housing, electricity, heating, telephone, or health care). They were also asked to estimate how many people in the community could not afford the basic living costs. Questions were asked of respondents about their interest in staying informed about public affairs, how often they accessed information in newspapers, how often they voted in elections, the frequency in which young people left town in search of better opportunities, and about the possibility of implementing and developing small/local businesses within the community. Finally, the survey collected general demographic information including marital status, age, gender, race, education, religion and religious affiliation, employment status, location of residence (state, county, and town), whether they own or rent their home, household composition, current assets and income, and their access to telephones and the Internet.

Northwest Area Foundation, and University of Oregon. Oregon Survey Research Laboratory. Northwest Area Foundation Horizons Social Indicators Survey, 2004-2005. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-05-21.

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To protect respondent privacy, certain geographic and demographic variables are restricted from general dissemination. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete an Agreement for the Use of Confidential Data, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research. Apply for access to these data through the ICPSR Restricted Data Contract Portal, which can be accessed via the study home page.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2004-08-23 -- 2004-12-09, 2005-03 -- 2005-05
2004-08-23 -- 2004-12-09, 2005-03 -- 2005-05

(1) More information about the Northwest Area Foundation can be found online at (2) The following variables are only available in the restricted-use version of the collection: LEAD7, AGE, RACEFUL, RELIG1AF, RELIG1B, RELIG1BF, EMPLOY2F, ENDING5, INTOBS, INTOBS2, FIPS, and TRIBE2. (3) Responses to open-ended questions can be found in the Open-End PDF file. (4) Two different collection modes were used: computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) survey and supplemental mail-back survey. Although the data collection instruments are not exactly the same, they share many questions and response categories. Please note that much of the data corresponds more closely to the wording of questions and response categories in the CATI instrument. (5) Excel charts are being provided by the data producer for further reference. (6) In the mail-back questionnaire, the "NO OPINION" responses were recoded as "DON'T KNOW" in the final dataset. (7) Respondents coded 1 'YES, LIVE IN COMMUNITY' and 2 'NO -- DON'T LIVE IN COMMUNITY, BUT CLOSE ENOUGH' for variable QAL11 (CENTRAL WASHINGTON CLUSTER SCREENER) are also coded as 11 'Q11=WA East' for the variable QUOTAVAR (Horizons Cluster). Please note that the Final Report has this cluster labeled as "Washington East," and the Cluster Reports have it labeled as "Central Washington." (8) PHONE2, URB_RUR2, SCREEN1, and SCREEN3 are in the NWAF codebook but are not present in the dataset. (9) QUOTAVAR: This variable appears to have a discrepancy in the total number of respondents for the Western Washington cluster for which there is no clear explanation. (10) The skip patterns have been checked for consistency by ICPSR, however there are several cases that were allowed to respond to questions they should have skipped. Please refer to #21 of the processing notes in the ICPSR codebook for further details. (11) Some variables in the data show sysmis for which there is no clear explanation. (12) The totals of respondents for the North Dakota cluster in the dataset and the final report do not match. The total of respondents in the dataset is 277, the final report shows the total to be 274.

Sampling was conducted at the household level with sample sizes in each of the 12 clusters large enough to ensure within-cluster margins of error no higher than 5 percent. Telephone numbers were selected randomly from each of the 36 communities, with the goal of having the number of interviews by community within the clusters be closely proportional to the proportions within the cluster. According to the primary investigator, the sampling methodology for the Western Washington supplemental mail-back survey somewhat complicates the issues discussed in the Final Report. Please refer to the "Methodology" and "Appendix" sections in the "Final Report" section of the ICPSR codebook for further details.

Adults aged 18 and older living in 36 Horizon communities (selected by the Northwest Area Foundation) in the Northwestern region of the United States in the following states: Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington.

survey data

For the total telephone sample, the response rate was 49.6 percent (measured by the accepted scientific standard set by the Council of American Survey and Research Organizations), and the refusal rate was 17.4 percent. Response and refusal rates vary from community to community and cluster to cluster.



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Northwest Area Foundation, and University of Oregon. Oregon Survey Research Laboratory. Northwest Area Foundation Horizons Social Indicators Survey, 2004-2005. ICPSR21181-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-05-21.

2008-05-21 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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