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Why Denmark is Better than the U.S.

Why Denmark is Better than the U.S.

Okay, so you probably don’t have the luxury of sourcing your next survey’s respondents from the country of your choice. We get it. But you might still be wondering if you DID have the option, from which country could you expect the highest response rates for your emailed survey? Well, we dug a little into our data and we think we’ve come up with an answer.

What we looked at

  • We narrowed our scope down to 20 countries and from there grabbed 100 random surveys for each that were deployed with an email collector.
  • In order to minimize the chance of using surveys sent out in mass mailings (and having irregularly low response rates), we limited the “sent” count to between 50 and 1,000 people.
  • We threw out any emails that bounced, meaning we only kept those that got through to the recipient’s address.
  • We then found the median response rate for each country and combined them to come up with a “global” average.
  • Finally, we normalized each country’s response rate to the global average to reach our +/- scale.

What we found

Which country has the most responsive population?

A: Denmark.

Yes, the great Danes have an impressively high response rate up 23% over the global average. Following in a near two way tie for second are Australia and the Netherlands, respectively. Rounding out the top five are Spain and France, with Canada hot on their trails.

Which country is the least likely to respond?

A: India.

Citizens in India are 31% less likely to respond to an emailed survey than the rest of the world. Brazil and Germany are tied for 2nd place with a -14% deviation from the global rate. Following close behind (or in front?) is Italy at -13%.

Where does SurveyMonkey’s home country fall in the pack?

A: Close to the middle — the United States is slightly below the global average with a 3% skew downwards.

Here’s a snapshot of the data:

What this means for you

Well, if you’re looking to email a survey to friends in India, maybe consider embedding the survey on your Facebook page instead.


  • Tash

    Duz yo system support african countries

    • You can use our survey service anywhere in the world. Our site is available in 14 languages, including French and English which are national languages in some of the African countries. However, you can create surveys in any language you like, and invite participants from any country to take part in your survey.

      If you want to upgrade to a professional account, we support 29 different currencies, including the Egyptian Pound.

  • Michael Canavino

    Does that indicate that surveys are more targetted in Demark, or that the population as a whole is more likey to respond?

    Would also be interesting to see what countries had the highest bounce rate.

    • Eric H

      Michael – Good question. Because we limited the sent count on each survey to between 50 and 1,000 recipients, we hopefully controlled for surveys in any one country hitting a more targeted group of people. If we did this effectively, it would point to Denmark as a whole being more responsive to emailed surveys.

      Looking at the bounce rate is an interesting thought — I’d imagine controlling for the same “sent” count as I mentioned above would limit any extreme bounce rates, but it’s a potential future post!

  • Mathias

    Danmark er bare det bedste land i verden. Vi er så gode.

    And in english: we are just so good in Denmark, the best country in the world

  • Michael Canavino

    Eric – Thanks for the reply. So Denmarkians* just love the monkey!

    *Yes I know it’s the Danes

  • Stefan

    I’m curious what the global average is that you are comparing them relative to is? I’m also curious if you looked at the number of questions and/or the time taken to complete them as a measures of quality of the design/ respondent burden?

    Oh, and Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi! – Judging from Australia’s habit of getting behind winners, Denmark better look out for a new Aus. Institute of Survey Responses aiming to get us gold at the next measure or the like. But probably needn’t worry.

  • Eric H

    Stefan — The “global” average is just the average across the countries we examined. I put it in parenthesis because we only looked at 20 countries overall, rather than the entire world.

    To your other point, you are right in saying that survey quality/design effects response rates. In the case of this blog post, we took a random sample so that these effects would have an equal probability of occurring in any country.

  • walter

    It will be interesting to see who many bounces came from South Africa

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