Statistical Design and Analysis

​​NORC statisticians and methodologists have pioneered innovations in all aspects of survey research, from understanding cognitive processes underlying respondents’ reaction to surveys and survey instrumentation to rigorous, efficient methods for conducting surveys and advanced techniques for analysis and interpretation of survey data. NORC boasts several world-renowned statisticians and methodologists, including five Fellows of the American Statistical Association.

NORC’s work in the area of respondent cognitive processes culminated in a number of key publications in the field of cognitive research, and continues to be a major strength in our organization's repertoire. NORC’s Statistics and Methodology Department makes substantial contributions to virtually all NORC projects and builds the methodological infrastructure that underlies all major NORC studies. This includes establishing statistical standards for use throughout the organization to ensure consistently high quality in the areas of sampling design and execution, development and testing of questionnaires and other instruments, statistical process control, design and development of estimation systems, statistical computing, disclosure and confidentiality analysis, record linkage, unduplication, and geocoding. In addition to these support functions, NORC statisticians and methodologists develop and execute projects with particular statistical or methodological complexities and assist social scientists from all parts of the organization in conducting research-related data analysis.

Specific areas of expertise include:

Representative Projects

Biodemography of Exceptional Longevity in the United States. This project proposes to investigate why some people manage to survive to extreme old age (100+ years) and what are the biological and social correlates of exceptional longevity. These are important issues not only for demographic forecasts of human mortality and population aging, and the policy implications on health-care and pension expenditures, but also for improving our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of human aging and longevity. The project proposes to explore the effects of early-life living conditions, adult physical characteristics, marriage, and reproductive history on exceptional longevity, and will test a number of related biomedical and social hypotheses.  The project is designed as an interdisciplinary study of exceptional human longevity. To contribute to the research infrastructure for subsequent longevity studies world-wide, a database with integrated, matched information on longevity predictor variables will be developed, and made available to the research community on the Internet. More

Change and Stability at the Starting Gate: A Comparison of America's Kindergartners in 2010 and 1998. NORC will produce a report that presents findings from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-2011 (ECLS-K:2011) and compare nationally-representative samples of first-time kindergarten students from Fall 2010 and Fall 1998 with respect to cognitive skills and psychological characteristics, social backgrounds, and school experiences. More

Impact Evaluation of the Minnesota Reading Corps K-3 Program. The limited number of previous evaluations on volunteer-only tutoring programs has shown variation in their effectiveness to improve children’s literacy proficiency. In 2014, NORC at the University of Chicago completed an evaluation of an AmeriCorps literacy intervention program, the Minnesota Reading Corps, which showed that volunteer AmeriCorps members can produce significantly greater increases in student literacy outcomes among Kindergarten, first and third grade students over one semester of tutoring. More

Survey of Doctorate Recipients. NORC conducts the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR) for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).The SDR is a survey of 120,000 science and engineering doctorate recipients who earned their degrees from institutions within the United States. More

Yes Youth Can! Impact Evaluation. NORC is conducting an impact evaluation for USAID/Kenya of the Yes Youth Can! (YYC) program.  YYC is an innovative and large-scale initiative funded by USAID to promote youth empowerment in Kenya.  In accordance with the learning and accountability objectives described in USAID's Evaluation Policy, YYC includes an impact evaluation to assess the causal impact of the program on the outcomes it seeks to influence. NORC designed the evaluation and implemented a survey of 9586 youths in Kenya.

See all Statistical Design and Analysis projects


Sparks: The NORC Blog Felicia LeClere: Narrative and Numbers: Or How to Understand Demography and Statistics Using Downton Abbey, Jazz Riffs, and Cats More
Posted: 2.27.2015 9:46AM
Sparks: The NORC Blog Felicia LeClere: Art, Wine, and Statistics More
Posted: 10.27.2014 12:52PM
News The Republic: "Predicting number of very old is confounding" with research from Biodemography of Exceptional Longevity in the United States More
Posted: 3.15.2012 4:19PM
News The Wall Street Journal: NORC's Natalia Gavrilova and Leonid Gavrilov ask if mortality can actually increase after 80 More
Posted: 3.5.2012 4:28PM
Event Teen Dating Violence Intervention & Prevention, , Wednesday, February 29, 2012 More
Posted: 2.13.2012 1:38PM


Kennon R. Copeland

(301) 634-9432

Daniel Kasprzyk

(301) 634-9396

Jeffrey Hackett

(312) 759-4266