Effects of improvements to survey methods on data quality and precision – Methodological insights into the 10th wave of the cross-sectional household survey "Mobility in Cities – SrV"

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


As measured by continually worsening response rates, the acceptance of general population surveys has significantly declined in the last decades. This development can be observed in many countries and is likewise applicable for surveys in Germany. “Mobility in Cities – SrV” is a methodologically comparable household survey, which is normally carried out every five years in many selected cities in Germany. In order to counteract the declining willingness to participate and the associated danger of selectivity and bias, a comprehensive methodological study took place prior to the tenth survey wave in 2013. This contribution introduces the concept and results of the methodological study as well as the resulting design of the survey. Analyses of previous surveys show that particularly for households without a telephone number in public directories, the response rate is comparably low. Since the proportion of these households is greatly increasing, a main focus of the study was to test an approach for further development of the survey concept, in particular for households not directly reachable by telephone. Additionally, several survey elements were revised. This includes a more precise collection of origins and destinations of trips with the help of an interactive mapping service. A result of the methodological adjustment was that an average of 0.5 trips was additionally able to be collected. The analytical results of this contribution can be used to develop recommendations concerning which details to be particularly considered for repeated cross-sectional surveys and how these details can affect the comparability of results.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2281–2291
JournalTransportation Research Procedia
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 2017

External IDs

Scopus 85020201019
ORCID /0000-0001-7857-3077/work/141545185